Under Chapter 7 (also called "straight bankruptcy") the court grants relief from most types of debt including credit card balances, medical bill, and finance company loans. Some types of debts like recent income taxes, student loans, and child support obligations are not removed. For secured debts, like a home mortgage or vehicle loan, you have the option to keep the property and keep making the payments, or surrender the property to the lender and your liability removed. You generally are able to keep all of your property, unless you have substantial equity in the property beyond what Illinois law allows you to protect.
A Chapter 11 Bankruptcy is used mostly by businesses. In Chapter 11, you may continue to operate your business, but your creditors and the court must approve a plan to repay your debts. There is no Trustee unless the judge decides that one is necessary; if a Trustee is appointed, the Trustee takes control of your business and property.
With Chapter 13, you make monthly payments to a court appointed trustee to pay back some or all of your debts over a three to five year period. The amount of the payment is based on the amount of your income and expenses, and in some cases is as low as $150 per month regardless of the amount of debt that you have. For secured loans, like home mortgage or vehicle loans, you have the option to pay these on your own, or you can put the loans into the plan and restructure the payments. Chapter 13 can also stop repossessions or foreclosures by allowing you three to five years to catch up the back payments through the Trustee. You also have the option to surrender the property to be relieved of the debt.