A lot depends on his state of residence. Some states have a “homestead” exemption that could protect his house. But before doing anything, please have him call the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at 800-388-2227. That will connect him to the nearest local member agency, and they will know the state rules. You can trust them completely — and they may have other alternatives than filing bankruptcy, either under chapter 7 or 13. So please be with him when he makes that all. There are a lot of emotions involved in this process, and someone rational needs to write it all down and think clearly.