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Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also called liquidation bankruptcy, is the most popular type of consumer bankruptcy. In Chapter 7 you get rid of most or all of your debts. In exchange, the bankruptcy trustee sells off some of your property to pay your unsecured credtiors. Because the trustee cannot take any property that is exempt by law, many debtors end up keeping all or the majority of their property.
You cannot make up missed payments on secured debts in Chapter 7, so if you're behind on your mortgage payments you may still lose your home. And some debts are not discharged (wiped out) by Chapter 7, such as child support debts and most student loans. Still, for many people Chapter 7 is an excellent way to wipe the slate clean and start fresh.