Bankruptcy Law Questions? Ask a Bankruptcy Lawyer Now.
If you are not employed, filing a Chapter 13 is not possible. A Chapter 13 is commonly 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. If the debtor's current monthly income is less than the applicable state median, the plan will be for three years unless the court approves a longer period "for cause." If the debtor's current monthly income is greater than the applicable state median, the plan generally must be for five years. In no case may a plan provide for payments over a period longer than five years. 11 U.S.C. §1322(d). During this time the law forbids creditors from starting or continuing collection efforts.
The main element is a "regular income". If you don't have this, the bankruptcy trustee will not be able to set you up on a repayment plan.
Even if you filed Chapter 13, the trustee would convert it to a Chapter 7, which is total liquidation.
The following link provides more information on Chapter 13 filings: