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Understanding The Impact Of Bankruptcy On Your Career: What You Need To Know

The decision to file for bankruptcy can be a challenging one. It’s important to consider how it will impact your daily life. A concern many people have is whether or not it will affect employment. Will you lose your job when you file? Will you have a hard time finding new jobs? Does your employer have to find out about your bankruptcy filing?  The good news is bankruptcy should not affect your current employment. However, in some instances future employment opportunities can be affected. It’s essential to contact a professional bankruptcy attorney to determine how filing for bankruptcy can affect your particular case.

Chapter 7 & 13 Bankruptcy & Your Current Employment

Man working on a laptop in a modern office, researching bankruptcy solutions When it comes to employment, it is unlawful for an employer to fire or change anything about your employment due to bankruptcy. This means that bankruptcy alone, does not allow them to reduce your salary, demote you, or take away any responsibilities. This goes for both chapter 7 and chapter 13.  However, if you have been consistently late, dishonest, or incompetent in any other part of your job, filing for bankruptcy cannot keep your employer from changing the terms and conditions of your employment or firing you. If you believe there is no other reason for the change in employment other than bankruptcy, you could have a case against your employer. Contact a bankruptcy attorney right away. 

Is Your Bankruptcy Filing Visible To The Public?

When you file for bankruptcy, it is a public record. Sensitive information such as social security numbers, the full names and birth dates of minors, and account numbers will be kept private, but if anyone wants to see who filed for bankruptcy, they are able to.  While looking up bankruptcy cases is public and possible, it is not an easy process so in most cases, unless your employer is already aware that you filed, they will not look your case up.

How Does An Employer Find Out That I Filed For Bankruptcy?

In most cases, employers are not contacted when you file for bankruptcy. They will rarely discover the filing unless they look you up directly. However, there are a few situations where they may find out:
  • Wage Garnishments: If your employer is withholding some of your income in order to pay off a debt, you or your bankruptcy attorney will have to inform them that you filed for bankruptcy in order to stop it. 
  • Chapter 13 Payments: If you file for Chapter 13 payments, your employer will be informed so they can set up a wage garnishment, withholding a portion of your wages and giving them to the bankruptcy trustee for distribution to creditors. 
  • Owing Employer Money: During a bankruptcy filing, you will disclose all of the debts that you owe, including your employer if you owe them a debt such as payroll overpayment. Because your employer is owed a debt, they will be informed of your bankruptcy.
  • Financial Disclosure Requirements: In some cases, particularly for high-security positions or positions where money is involved, you may be required to disclose financial  information, including bankruptcy filings. However, even in jobs like the FBI or CIA, your job should not be affected. 
In general, unless there are specific legal or regulatory requirements, employers wouldn’t be directly contacted about your bankruptcy filing. While employers may find out about your bankruptcy filing, they cannot legally discriminate against you solely based on that information. 

An infographic that explains How Does An Employer Find Out That I Filed For Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy’s Impact on Job Applications & Future Employment

Close-up of a man reviewing bankruptcy documents at a deskIf you are applying for jobs in the midst or just after filing for bankruptcy, you may wonder if the bankruptcy will affect the process. Bankruptcy attorneys will tell you that federal, state, and local government agencies are not allowed to consider bankruptcy when deciding whether or not to hire.  Private employers are a different story. They are not regulated the same and are able to decide not to hire you because of bankruptcy. Most companies that will consider your bankruptcy in the hiring process will be private bookkeeping, accounting, and payroll jobs, or anything dealing with money.  As stated before, bankruptcy filings are public records so the private companies find out about bankruptcy by conducting credit checks or background checks that include a review of finances. Employers require your permission in order to run credit checks so it is wise to be honest about what they may find when giving permission to run the credit check or financial review.

Trust Our Bankruptcy Attorneys To Help Determine How Bankruptcy Will Affect Your Employment! 

Trust our experienced Honolulu Banktuptcy Lawyers at Blake Goodman to guide you through the complexities of bankruptcy and provide advice tailored to your unique financial situation. Our team will work closely with you to evaluate your options and determine how bankruptcy will impact your current and future employment!  Contact us today for a consultation and take the first step towards a brighter financial future! 
Author Photo

Blake Goodman received his law degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. in 1989 and has been exclusively practicing bankruptcy-related law in Texas, New Mexico, and Hawaii ever since. In the past, Attorney Goodman also worked as a Certified Public Accountant, receiving his license form the State of Maryland in 1988.

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