How Chapter 13 helps. Chapter 13 bankruptcy lets you pay off the "arrearage" (late, unpaid payments) over the length of a repayment plan you propose—three to five years. But you'll need enough income to at least meet your current mortgage payment at the same time you're paying off the arrearage. Assuming you make all the required payments up to the end of the repayment plan, you'll avoid foreclosure and keep your home.
In a chapter 7, you still may be able to keep your home. However, in most cases you must be current on your monthly home mortgage payment. If you do choose to keep your home in a Chapter 7 you must deal directly with the mortgage lender and in most cases reaffirm the mortgage note if you intend to keep the home. In a Chapter 7, your attorney has less control in a foreclosure proceeding once the case is filed. If you are behind on your mortgage payment or foresee becoming behind on a mortgage payment, a Chapter 13 would probably be best for you.