Bankruptcy is a a federal court action with state exemptions. There are several types of bankruptcies which are often referred to by their respective Chapters in the Federal Bankruptcy Code (Title 11 of the U.S. Code), with bankruptcy rules promulgated pursuant to 28 US Code Annotated section 2075.
Personal and business bankruptcies which liquidate the debtor's debts are covered under Chapter 7. Chapter 13 covers personal reorganization of debts (payment plans), Chapter 11 covers reorganization for businesses and Chapter 12 covers bankruptcy for farmers and fishermen, and there are a few other chapters which normally wouldn't affect an individual debtor.
The different chapters treat debts differently and have different requirements for filing. To file a Chapter 7 that will discharge unsecured, nonpriority debts at the end of the bankruptcy, you must qualify through a Means Test or you may have to file a Chapter 13 which develops a payment plan for your debts. There are many differences between the two chapters, and I would suggest my website at www.robertpetersonlaw.com for an in-depth analysis of the differences between the two chapters and when to file each type.