Bankruptcy / Chapter 13 / How Long Delay Foreclosure

How Long Will Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Delay Foreclosure? 4 Things to Know

Written by Ben Tejes
Updated Oct 11th, 2023
This article is for informational purposes only. Ascend does not provide legal advice, and are not attorneys. If you'd like to speak with a bankruptcy attorney that serves your city, you can speak with one in a free consultation.

Because Chapter 13 bankruptcy is focused on creating a manageable repayment schedule, your foreclosure could be permanently delayed and even prevented. If you are able to repay your missed mortgage payments, as well as stay on top of your current mortgage payments through your Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan, then the foreclosure proceedings on your home will be stopped indefinitely, barring any new missed payments. Keep reading to see how filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy can delay your foreclosure.

What Is Foreclosure?

Foreclosure is a legal proceeding where the lender is authorized to repossess and then sell the property of a borrower who has missed a certain amount of payments. The goal is for the lender to be able to recoup the money that would be lost from the borrower. It is more economical for the lender if the borrower continues making payments, even if they are smaller or deferred for a period of time, so be sure to reach out to your lender to see if they are willing to work with you to create an alternative repayment plan.

What Is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often referred to as the ‘wage-earners bankruptcy.’ What this means is you are still able to make payments on some of the debts you owe, even if you aren’t able to make the minimum payments on everything. When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the goal is to create a repayment plan that combines all of the individual's debts into one, easier to manage payment. A bankruptcy trustee would be put over the estate of the individual and would monitor their progress of repayment. 

Understand the COST before filing

One of the most important things to understand is your Chapter 13 plan payment. The payment could be vastly different based on your finances. Look at the estimate below that ranges between $800 - $4000 per month.

Picture comparing two Chapter 13 payment plan examples.
The Chapter 13 payment plan can be vastly different based on your finances

So, what would your Chapter 13 plan payment be?

The bankruptcy forms are complex, but the answer to this question is so important that we built a free Chapter 13 bankruptcy calculator based on the forms below to help you estimate your Chapter 13 plan payment

Does Filing For Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Stop Foreclosure?

It is very likely that filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy could indefinitely suspend the threat of foreclosure, if you are able to stay on your repayment plan. Because Chapter 13 bankruptcy focuses on creating a manageable payment plan, there is a chance that you could come out of the bankruptcy process with the ability to continue making modified payments until your home is paid off. 

When you file for bankruptcy of any kind, an automatic stay is put on all of your debts. This means, if the lender that supplied your mortgage loan is pursuing foreclosure on your home, they will be ordered to stop until your case is either dismissed or the stay is lifted. 

When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a trustee — along with the input of your creditors — will create a repayment plan that slowly pays off your debts. This should include your mortgage payment. 

Though unsecured debts (like credit cards, hospital bills, etc.) will be discharged at the end of your bankruptcy, your mortgage payment will remain. However, because your other debt will either be paid off or discharged, your ability to pay off your mortgage should increase dramatically. If you continue on your repayment plan, it is likely that you will never have to face the thought of foreclosure again. 

Other Things To Consider

Make sure you are communicating with your lender. If it has become apparent to you that you will not be able to make your payments, the worst thing you could do is ignore your lender and hope the issue goes away. Doing this would only ensure a default judgement against you. So reach out to your lender and see if they have any alternative payment plans that may help you!


Falling behind on your mortgage payments can happen for a wide variety of reasons. Whether you were unexpectedly hospitalized, let go from your job without warning, or experienced some other kind of financial hardship, keeping up with mortgage payments on top of your normal cost of living can be difficult. When this happens, it's important to know what options are available to you.