We understand that many people feel shame and embarrassment in regard to financial problems or bankruptcy. For this reason, we’re committed to treating every person who walks through our doors with dignity and respect.
If you’re struggling with feelings of shame or embarrassment, please read our article Filing for Bankruptcy is Not Shameful. You’re Not Alone.
That being said, we understand that you may be concerned that if you file for bankruptcy people will find out about it. You may be particularly concerned about your employer or boss finding out. The first thing we want to tell you is: if you do not tell people about your bankruptcy, it is unlikely that they will find out about your bankruptcy.
While unlikely it is possible. Bankruptcy petitions are filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and are public record. People who know how are able to access your paperwork; however, few people know how to access bankruptcy records and realistically nobody in your personal life would go searching to see if you file for bankruptcy.
That being said, of course, there are a few caveats. There are situations where your employer may find out if you file for bankruptcy. Further, there may be situations where future employment opportunities are affected by a bankruptcy filing. The most likely scenarios involve wage garnishment, security clearance, and background checks.
In general, your current employer will not find out about your bankruptcy filing. However, in cases where wages are already being garnished, the employer receives notification of the bankruptcy because they must put an end to the wage garnishment.
If your wages are being garnished, your employer has already been notified of the judgment against you because the payroll department had to set up the wage garnishment. While you may feel embarrassed, consider that filing for bankruptcy demonstrates that you’re taking appropriate measures to deal with your debt problems.
Jobs that require security clearances may be affected by filing bankruptcy. If your job requires a security clearance, then your boss may find out about your bankruptcy filing or you may have a duty to disclose a bankruptcy filing. Employment opportunities requiring security clearance include those working for the armed forces, or employed by the CIA, FBI, or other government agency, or private companies that contract with the government.
However, it is unlikely that a bankruptcy filing puts your security clearance at risk. In fact, bankruptcy is often viewed as taking appropriate measures to deal with debt problems. This is viewed more favorably than carrying outstanding debt and missing payments.
No employer is allowed to discriminate against you based on filing for bankruptcy, nor are they allowed to fire you based on filing for bankruptcy.
In some cases, future job application may be affected by filing for bankruptcy. In a nutshell: while the government is not allowed to consider a bankruptcy filing when deciding whether or not to hire you, this rule does not apply to private employers. This is of particular concern if you plan to apply for jobs that require you to handle money or finances.
If a potential employer asks you for permission to run a background check, understand that this likely includes running a credit check. In this instance, consider getting in front of a potential issue by being candid about your previous bankruptcy filing. You can explain that you had past financial struggles, but that you took the steps necessary to properly handle it by filing for bankruptcy. Your prospective employer may appreciate your honesty and candor.
We proudly serve the people of Savannah, GA and the surrounding areas.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.