United States Law allows for four kinds of bankruptcy cases –

  1. Chapter 7 – This is known as liquidation or straight bankruptcy. The law states that a debtor is required to give up on his or her property that goes beyond fixed limits that are known as `exemptions’ so that the property can be sold out to settle the amounts owed to the creditors.

  2. Chapter 11 – This is referred to as `reorganization’. It is employed by certain individual debtors and businesses whose debts may be involving large amounts.

  3. Chapter 12 – This is meant for agricultural and rural family farmers.

  4. Chapter 13 – This is known as `debt adjustment’. In this case, you can file a plan for paying debts or portions of a debt from your current earnings.

Generally, people filing for bankruptcy will go for either Chapter 13 or Chapter 7. These applications can be filed individually or jointly in case of a married couple (see Texas Bankruptcy Law’s Chapter 7 or 13?).