You cannot file a Chapter 13 until 4 years have passed from your Chapter 7 Discharge. If you are thinking of filing a Chapter 13, you might be better off converting to a Chapter 13 now before you obtain your Chapter 7 discharge. Of course, this really depends on a myriad of decisions and factors. You cannot restructure your loan in a Chapter 13 (unless the lender agrees). So you are pretty much back to where you were before. All that a Chapter 13 does is allow you 3-5 years to make up past...
If you've received a summons and complaint, then the 5 months is probably in reference to some sort of a status conference. However, you still need to respond to the complaint in 30 days otherwise you may get a default judgment entered against you. The longer you wait the harder it may be to get a deal from them. You have to contact the attorney because AMEX will only refer you to them. No need to discuss with the judge because the judge can't force AMEX's attorney to take a deal. You have...
In a Chapter 7, you may be faced with a motion for relief from stay from the creditor which allows them to foreclose during the case and certainly a foreclosure after the bankruptcy is over.
In a Chapter 11, you can buy some time in order to sell. However, a Chapter 11 costs more in legal fees. A typical Chapter 7 might cost $2,000 whereas a Chapter 11 starts at around $10,000 to $20,000.
If you have no income, then it is pointless to do credit counseling or debt consolidation. Those options require that you pay something on a monthly basis. However, if you choose to go that route, be wary of companies and read the fine print. Many times, you pay a monthly amount that only gets applied to the service fees/attorney fees and then they start to pay down or settle your debts.
Your court date is automatically continued for one month if you do not show up the first time. There is really no way to ask for a particular court date. If you miss 2 court dates, the trustee will generally file a motion to dismiss, unless you persuade him otherwise.
The sheriff will need a release from the creditor. Once you file Chapter 13, your lawyer should tell the creditor to send a notice of release to the sheriff's office. You have to be diligent about this and follow up with numerous phone calls because they do not go out of their way to help you.