Vivian M. Williams & Associates, P.C.

Defending People's Rights & Freedoms




For Westchester Office Call




Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)

What is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is usually the last option people, or corporations, pursue when they experience an inability or an impaired ability to satisfy the debts of their creditors.  Creditors may file a bankruptcy petition against the debtor in an effort to collect on their debts or restructure a corporation to satisfy its debts. this is calleed the involuntary bakruptcy petition. However, more often, bankruptcy is initiated by the debtor in order to obtain a discharge of his/her debts or to restructure operations in an effort to stay in business and generate current revenue to satisfy past debts of the debtor.  In other words, bankruptcy is the process by which a person or a  corporation seeks a  new begining in his/her or its financial life.

What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings, usually referred to as liquidations, discharge (release) the debtor's personal liabilities for certain types of debts.  The discharge works as a permanent order that directs creditors to refrain from pursuing any collection actions against the debtor; this will end harassing communications and legal actions from the creditor.   


What is Chapter 11 Bankruptcy?


In Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings a business ceases its operations, a trustee sells all of its assets, and then distributes the proceeds to its creditors. WHEREAS, in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, the debtor remains in control of its business operations as a debtor in possession under the supervision and oversight of the Bankruptcy Court.


What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?


Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings involve entering into a plan in which you show the court how you will pay off some of your past-due and current debts over a period of three to five years.  A chapter 13 bankruptcy allows the debtor to keep his/her valuable property, like a car or a home with a secured loan, while his past debts are being paid off.


What Debts does Bankruptcy NOT Discharge?


The following debts are NOT usually discharged when a person files for bankruptcy: money owed for child support or alimony, debts not listed on your bankruptcy petition, loans you got by fraud, debts resulting from "willful and malicious" harm, student loans owed to a school or government body, and mortgages and other liens which are not paid in the bankruptcy case.  This list is not exhaustive and it is therefore important to get proper legal representation to know which debts can be discharged and which debts cannot be.



Can I Keep my Home & my Car if I File for Bankruptcy?


You will not lose your car or your home during bankruptcy if your equity in such property is fully exempt from the bankruptcy proceeding.  But it is important to have proper legal representation in order to know whether your property is fully exempt under the bankruptcy proceedings you file.


How Long After Filing for Bankruptcy Will Creditors Stop Calling my Home?


As soon as a creditor knows that you have filed for bankruptcy protection, it MUST immediately stop all collection efforts.  This includes sending bills, harassing collection calls and other communications.  After you file the bankruptcy petition, the court mails a notice to all the creditors listed in your bankruptcy schedules.



How Often Can I File for Bankruptcy?

You can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy again after six years has passed from the date of your last filing. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be filed at any time.