Professional Assistance with Your Bankruptcy Case
At Blake Goodman, PC, Attorney, we are always looking to serve members of the military to protect them from the difficult and sometimes life-altering moment that is bankruptcy. While we want to serve every member of the Hawaii community equally, we are aware that members of the military are typically held to a different standard. This even includes their finances.
Bankruptcy is a great challenge for anyone, but in the military, there are aspects of your career that could be put into jeopardy, such as your security clearances. This can lead to members of the military deciding to wait as long as they can before finally applying for bankruptcy.
What you may not know is that by doing this, you are putting yourself in jeopardy. Debt is not something that you can just simply ignore, and it will get better. Due to interest rates, credit score, and other financial responsibilities, your debt lasting longer will only lead to a bigger fall.
When you need to file for bankruptcy, there is no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Waiting to file can be so much more damaging than just biting the bullet and filing. At worst, it doesn’t hurt to come in for a free consultation to see if there are ways to recover from the debt you are in before taking the bankruptcy option.
At Blake Goodman, PC, Attorney, when it is time to file for bankruptcy, there are steps that we typically follow. They are:
- Debt removal
As you can see, before we can even reach the filing process, there is counseling that needs to take place to see if bankruptcy is required first. If there is a way out of financial strife, then those of us at Blake Goodman, PC, Attorney can help you find it.
Information from Our Bankruptcy for Military Personnel Attorneys in Honolulu
You did not choose the military life because it would be easy — you chose it because you felt compelled to serve your country, to serve something greater than yourself. You have worked hard to build up a career in the defense of our liberties. Now, you find yourself buried under mountains of debt because of medical bills, the death of a family member, a divorce, or other problem, and you are worried about losing your security clearance due to your financial troubles. You fear that a bankruptcy will ruin the career you worked so hard to build.
The Rules Regarding Debt and the Military
Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice explicitly states that failure to pay one’s debts constitutes conduct “to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces…[and is] of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.”
Excessive debt is viewed as a sign of recklessness and untrustworthiness. Moreover, the military views excessive debt as a potential security hazard because of the pressure to accept money from outside sources to relieve one’s personal financial troubles.
It is far more damaging to simply let your debts pile up. Decisive actions like debt settlement or bankruptcy are clear cut solutions to your troubles. Letting your debts fester is a far surer path to garnished pay, disciplinary action, and even dishonorable discharge.
If any doubts remain, you need only read this passage from Section 525 of the United States Bankruptcy Code:
“(A) governmental unit may not deny revoke, suspend, or refuse to renew a
license, permit, charter, franchise or other similar grant to, condition such a
grant to, discriminate with respect to such a grant against, deny employment to,
terminate the employment of, or discriminate with respect to employment against,
a person that is or has been a debtor under the Bankruptcy Code solely because
the debtor has been a debtor under the Bankruptcy Code;…”
To summarize, the government (and by extension, the military) cannot commit the following acts against a person due to his or her bankruptcy filing:
- Deny employment
- Deny promotion
- Terminate employment
- Refuse to renew a license or permit
If You Do Need Bankruptcy
If we discover that you do need bankruptcy, then we will work to defend you through the entire process to try and keep as much of your military standing as possible. We will also work to ensure that your finances are handled with care. The number one challenge of bankruptcy is how much those who have to file aren’t aware of the details of it.
Here’s a quick rundown of the two most common types of bankruptcy and what each means for you.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common kind there is. Those who have to file for bankruptcy through Chapter 7 are usually in a situation where there is no possible way they can pay off their debts. This happens a lot for people that lose a source of income and can no longer support their lifestyle as a result of it.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is not as common as Chapter 7 but still exists as an option. With Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you typically have an income where it is possible to pay off your debts, but you have too many to do it in a reasonable amount of time. When filing for Chapter 13, your debts will be removed after paying them off.
Your debts will be rolled into a lump sum that you then are able to make monthly payments on over an allotted period of time. Once those debts have been paid, you will be free of debt.