Even though it’s a difficult decision, sometimes filing bankruptcy is your best option. If you’re considering bankruptcy, you may wonder: How does bankruptcy impact my employment opportunities?
Some people avoid filing because they’re afraid that a bankruptcy will prevent them from getting a job down the road. In today’s blog, the bankruptcy attorneys at Groce and DeArmon answer this question in detail.
They Can’t Fire You
Let’s say you have a job and you need to file for bankruptcy. You’re worried about getting fired, but in reality, this shouldn’t concern you. Whether you file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your employer is restrained from firing you because of it. The code says the bankruptcy cannot be the sole reason that you are laid off, denied a bonus, demoted, reprimanded, or otherwise disciplined. However, they can let you go for a poor attendance record, tardiness, being incompetent, etc.
While bankruptcy is part of the public record, you are not required to reveal your bankruptcy case to your employer.
They Can’t Deny You Professional Licenses
Individuals who obtain multiple degrees to become doctors and lawyers are considered licensed professionals. Most of these professionals submit to background checks and even credit checks to qualify for their licenses. Luckily, the same section of the bankruptcy code that protects you from being fired also protects you from discrimination when you apply for your license.
Keep in mind, though, that most professions require their members to meet standards regarding morals and character. Carelessness displayed in your personal finances could influence your licensing board.
Impacting Your Job Search
You should be aware of some things when job searching after filing bankruptcy. First, the importance of a bankruptcy to a potential employer largely depends on the type of job you’re looking for. For financial and accounting positions, employers want people with good credit. When some managers do a credit check, they’ll see your bankruptcy on your credit report because it remains on your credit history for several years. For this reason, private industry may deny you employment if the job would require you to manage money.
In most cases, though, neither private nor government employers will deny you employment because of a bankruptcy. Positions in the retail and service industries will not have the same requirements as a bank or accounting firm. Finally, know that the older your bankruptcy, the less it will impact your job search.
What You Can Do
The best thing you can do is be honest about your financial history. You must answer truthfully if you are asked on an employment application, “Have you ever filed a bankruptcy case?”
If you’re asked to sign a release during a job interview or when you seek a promotion, this is the time to be open. Tell them briefly why you filed for bankruptcy and how it enabled you to get your finances under control. Don’t dwell on the issue too much.
Groce and DeArmon are Your Bankruptcy Attorneys
Filing a bankruptcy case may not be as harmful to your job as you initially thought. In fact, it could help you in other ways besides lessening the stress of debt. Before you decide to avoid bankruptcy in fear of it ruining your career, you should meet with a local bankruptcy attorney and discuss your situation in further detail. Groce and DeArmon are the attorneys you can trust. If you need legal aid, contact us for a free consultation today.