North Texas debtors file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy for many different reasons, but in general debtors are seeking two forms of relief in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. The first form of relief offered by the bankruptcy code is the automatic stay. The automatic stay is sometimes described as a gate closing, locking out the creditors. Basically, the idea is that once a bankruptcy case is filed, creditors can no longer attempt to collect debts. The automatic stay prevents creditors from repossessing vehicles and foreclosing on homes, and the Chapter 13 Plan gives debtors a way to come current on their arrears, so that they can keep their secured property. The second form of relief available in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a discharge. A discharge means that creditors are barred from collecting on the debts listed in the bankruptcy schedules, unless the debtor has indicated in their bankruptcy plan that the debt should survive the bankruptcy, such as when a person who files a bankruptcy wishes to keep a home or car. The debt doesn’t disappear, meaning that creditors can still attempt to collect the debt from other parties liable for the debt who did not receive a discharge. A discharge occurs when a debtor successfully completes their Chapter 13 Plan. Plans last between 36 and 60 months, although the vast majority of debtors file 60 month plans. After the last payment is made, assuming all other requirements under the bankruptcy code have been met, the debtor will receive a discharge.