A chapter 13 bankruptcy is also called a wage earner's plan. It enables individuals with regular income to develop a plan to repay all or part of their debts. Under this chapter, debtors propose a repayment plan to make installments to creditors over three to five years.
Generally, chapter 13 is preferred by debtors who have a valuable asset, such as a home, that is not completely covered by exemptions and that they wish to keep. Since the debtors plan will require regular monthly or biweekly payments, Chapter 13 is usually only appropriate for an individual debtor who has a regular source of income.
Chapter 13 offers individuals a number of advantages over liquidation under chapter 7. Perhaps most significantly, chapter 13 offers individuals an opportunity to save their homes from foreclosure. By filing under this chapter, individuals can stop foreclosure proceedings and may cure delinquent mortgage payments over time.
Another advantage of chapter 13 is that it allows individuals to reschedule secured debts (other than a mortgage for their primary residence) and extend them over the life of the chapter 13 plan. Doing this may lower the payments.
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