Basically, most UNsecured types of debts (there are some exceptions I believe, primarilary Student Loans), may be relieved. Compensatingly, most above the basic need assets can be seized and sold to pay as much of the debt as possible. Secured lenders (who frequently have a clause essentially allowing them to do so if you file bankruptcy) may be able to take the item of security. * Basically in a chapter 7, all unsecured debts, credit cards, promissory notes, etc., any debt that does not have collateral attached; judgments such as wage garnishments, liens that have not been perfected, student loans that are not federally funded. Goods purchased on merchant accounts are secured by the item bought this type of debt is usually settled by the debtor paying the depreciation amount. All secured debts (real property), child support arrearages, federally funded student loans, most (not all) tax arrearages, and in some instances spousal support (alimony) cannot be discharged.