Bankruptcy is the legal process in which a person or firm declares inability to pay debts. Any available assets are liquidated and the proceeds are distributed to creditors. A person or firm may be declared bankrupt under one of several chapters of the federal bankruptcy code: Chapter 7, which covers liquidation of the debtor’s assets; Chapter 11, which covers reorganization of bankrupt businesses; or Chapter 13, which covers work-outs of debts by individuals. Upon a court declaration of bankruptcy, a person or firm surrenders assets to a court-appointed trustee, and is relieved from the payment of previous debts.