There a two general types of debts, secured and unsecured. The treatment of secured debts and unsecured debts varies greatly in bankruptcy.
A secured debt is a type of debt that is attached to some type of collateral. A secured debt creates a lien on property. In most instances, creditors with secured debts can repossess collateral if payments are not made on the secured debt. The most common type of secured debt is a mortgage for a house or car note for a car.
An unsecured debt is a debt that is not attached to collateral. An unsecured creditor has no right to take property from a debtor to satisfy a debt unless the unsecured creditor obtains a judgment against the debtor. Most common unsecured debts include credit cards and medical bills.