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Will My Employer Know If I File For Bankruptcy?

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 situation 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.

Wage Garnishment

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 you 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.

Security Clearance

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.

Background Checks

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.

You deserve a financial fresh start, and we’re here to help you achieve it. We offer free consultations and affordable payment plans. Contact us today!

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.

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Filing for Bankruptcy is Not Shameful. You’re Not Alone.

We’ve been practicing bankruptcy law for over 35-years. One of the things we hear most from our clients is that they feel guilty or ashamed about filing for bankruptcy. They want to pay back their debts, and they feel badly that they are not able to do so. In our experience, the majority of debtors truly deserve the benefits of bankruptcy. Few people actually want to file for bankruptcy and fewer still are taking advantage of the system.

If you file for bankruptcy, you are not alone.

Across the nation, nearly 1 million people filed for bankruptcy protection in 2015. The previous year, well over 1 million people filed for bankruptcy protection.

In Georgia, 50,344 people filed for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection in 2015.

By these numbers, you can see that bankruptcy is not uncommon.

There are many reasons why people file for bankruptcy. Prior to filing many people experience a job loss, divorce, death in the family, a costly medical emergency, or another unavoidable situation. The types of debt that cause the most problems are medical debts and credit card debts.

There is a common misconception that everyone who files for bankruptcy is bad with money. That is simply not true. Often it is an unavoidable and unforeseeable situation that leads to bankruptcy. Consider too that many successful people have file for bankruptcy. If you file for bankruptcy, you’ll be in the likes of Walt Disney, Billie Joel, and Mark Twain.

Filing for bankruptcy is not shameful.

As we discussed in our article Living With The Stress of Debt vs. Bankruptcy, living with the weight of debt affects more than just your credit score. Financial stress has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, ulcers, diabetes, migraines, and sleep disturbances.

You do not deserve the financial and emotional stress of trying to pay back debts you cannot afford. Filing for bankruptcy is not shameful. It does not make you a bad person, and it does not mean that you’re a failure.

Filing for bankruptcy is your legal right.

You deserve a financial fresh start, and we’re here to help you achieve it. We offer free consultations and affordable payment plans. Contact us today!

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.

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Why Debt Consolidation Rarely Works

If you’re living under the weight of financial struggles, debt consolidation may seem like the answer. Unfortunately, debt consolidation is rarely the solution to debt problems. Many of our clients who ultimately file for bankruptcy tried debt consolidation first. The truth is many of these people would have been much better off if they had filed bankruptcy from the start.

Know that we are not in the business of talking people into bankruptcies they don’t need. We are in the business of helping people get out of debt and getting the fresh financial start they deserve.

The Two Main Debt Consolidation Options

1) Hiring a debt consolidation company. They will collect a monthly fee from you and attempt to make settlement deals with your creditors. Generally, these companies are paid by taking a percentage of your monthly payment off the top. They keep the rest of the funds until there is enough in the pot to make a lump sum payment on a settlement deal, one creditor at a time.

2) Taking out a sizable loan. The loan is used to pay off creditors. Then one payment is due on the loan each month.

The Risks of Hiring A Debt Consolidation Company

At first blush, hiring a debt consolidation company may seem like a good idea. However, there are a host of things that can go wrong.

What we typically see is that people make their monthly payment to the debt consolidation company, but ultimately none or only a few of their smaller debts get settled. Leaving them out all of the money paid to the debt consolidation company, and ultimately filing for bankruptcy anyway.

Here are a few other things that can (and do) go wrong:

  • You are sued by your creditor. This can ultimately lead to wage garnishment or bank levies.
  • Even if you settle one debt, your other creditors will still continue collection efforts against you.
  • Your credit score is continuing to drop, and each missed monthly payment is reporting on your credit report.
  • Interest fees and penalties are still accruing – you’re getting deeper into debt.
  • Many creditors refuse to work with debt consolidation companies.
  • It may not provide an overall solution to your debt problems (many debt consolidation companies only deal with credit card debts).

Further, if you end up filing for bankruptcy your case may be made more difficult. Both debt settlements and payments made to a debt consolidation company will be heavily scrutinized by the bankruptcy trustee.

Debt Consolidation Companies Are Not Doing Anything You Can’t Do For Yourself

  • You can settle your debts with you creditors on your own. In fact, once you fall far enough behind on your payments, your creditors will begin to send you settlement offers in the 40-60% range. You can make a counter-offer with a lower amount.
  • Instead of paying them a monthly payment, you can put a lump sum into savings each month until you have enough to settle your own debts.
  • While the debt consolidation company may get your creditors to stop calling you, but they have not done anything to actually help you handle the debt. Know that you have the power to stop creditor phone calls yourself.

If you’re considering debt consolidation, we encourage you to meet with us first for a free consultation to learn about all of your debt relief options.

The Risks of Taking Out A Loan

Taking out a lump sum loan to pay off your creditors may be tempting. However, this option too comes with a host of things that can go wrong.

  • This option often creates a “rob Peter to pay Paul” situation. If you can’t make the monthly payment on your loan, you have not solved your debt problem.
  • Interest rates on debt consolidation loans can be astronomical.
  • Your credit score and credit report are every bit as harmed by this option than by filing for bankruptcy.
  • If you take out a home equity loan and you cannot make the monthly payment, you risk losing your home to foreclosure.
  • If you ultimately need to file for bankruptcy, paying off creditors or taking out new loans prior to bankruptcy can cause serious problems with your case.

If you’re considering taking out a big loan to consolidate your debts, we encourage you to meet with us first for a free consultation to learn about all of your debt relief options.

Follow us on Facebook to learn more about how to stop collection action and get out of debt!

If you have questions about debt consolidation or bankruptcy call us today at (912) 351-9000 or contact us via the web to schedule a free consultation. We are here to help you get out of debt and gain the financial freedom you deserve.

For over 30-years we have proudly served the people in Savannah, Richmond Hill, Hinesville, Pooler, Port Wentworth, Tybee Island, Clyo, Ellabel, Midway, Springfield, Pembroke, Brooklet, Garden City, and Ludowici, Georgia.

 

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

READ MORE