automatic stay--An injunction that automatically stops lawsuits, foreclosures, garnishments, and most collection activity against the debtor the moment a bankruptcy petition is filed.
Chapter 7--The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code providing for "liquidation," that is, the sale of a debtor's nonexempt property and the distribution of the proceeds to creditors. In order to be eligible for Chapter 7, the debtor must satisfy a "means test." The court will evaluate the debtor's income and expenses to determine if the debtor may proceed under Chapter 7.
Chapter 13--The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code providing for adjustment of debts of individuals with regular income, often referred to as a wage-earner plan. Chapter 13 allows debtors to reorganize their finances, keep property, and use the disposable income to pay debts over time, usually three to five years.