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hapter 13 is typically designed for an individual debtor who has a regular source of income. Chapter 13 is preferable to Chapter 7 when it might it enables the debtor to keep a valuable asset the he or she might otherwise lose in Chapter 7. A debtor in chapter 13 is able to propose a “plan” to repay creditors over time – usually three to five years. Chapter 13 is also used by consumer debtors who do not qualify for Chapter 7 relief. In a chapter 13 the court will either confirm (approve) or disapprove of a debtor’s repayment plan, depending on whether it meets the Bankruptcy Code’s requirements for confirmation. Chapter 13 is different from Chapter 7 as the chapter 13 debtor usually remains in possession of his/her property and makes payments to creditors, through the trustee, based on the debtor’s income over the life of the plan. Unlike Chapter 7, the debtor does not receive an immediate discharge of debts; rather, the debtor must complete the payments required under the plan before the discharge can be obtained. The debtor is protected from lawsuits, garnishments, and other creditor actions while the plan is in effect. The discharge is also somewhat broader (i.e., more debts are eligible to be eliminated) under chapter 13 than the discharge under Chapter 7.

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