f you had a 5 year repayment plan in a Chapter 13 does the credit report reporting time (7 years) start at the end of the 5 year plan or at the time the plan is approved?
It is from the date of filing. The reporting period for all bankruptcy is 10 years not 7.
During the repayment plan can the Trustee adjust the repayment amount if I were to get a raise at work or say my stay at home wife were to get a part-time job?
It can, depends upon the plan and the trustee.
Can you acutally start building credit with a small car loan or anything during the repayment plan or are you always being "watched"?
You must have the trustee's permission to incur new debt.
We qualify for either a 7 or 13, but want the one that will put us back on track the quickest even if it means loosing our mortgage in Chapter 7.
7 will put you on a rebuild track the fastest. Whether it is the best plan for you, we cannot tell from here. See a local bankruptcy attorney, most give a free initial consultation.