Access to the trustee's avoiding powers assists debtors in achieving the underlying purpose of the exemption statutes-- i.e., to retain property necessary to make a "fresh start." [H.R. Rep. No. 595, 95th Cong, 1st Sess. 363 (1977)]
Individual debtors have the power to avoid certain liens under 11 U.S.C. Section 522(f) to the extent that they impair exemptions to which the debtors would otherwise be entitled. Where this may come into play in your case or situation is that a creditor, say Discover or Visa, sues you in superior court and obtains a judgment. The creditor may then obtain an abstract judgment or judicial lien that may be avoidable within bankruptcy.
The types of liens that are subject to avoidance under Section 522(f) are:
The following are generally not avoidable under Section 522(f)