Bankruptcy for Military Personnel
Information from our Hawaii Bankruptcy Attorney
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 or worse due to your financial troubles. You fear that a bankruptcy will ruin the career you worked so hard to build.
There’s help – keep reading.
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.
The same article of the UCMJ that delineates the punishment for nonpayment also clearly states that “the offense is not committed if the creditor or creditors involved are satisfied with the conduct of the debtor with respect to payment.” Whether filing Chapter 7 or filing Chapter 13, bankruptcy immediately communicates to your creditors that you are using a legal resource in order to resolve your outstanding debts.
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
The Solution Begins Today
You do not have to keep worrying about what will happen to your military career. You do not have to stay awake at night wondering what will become of your life due to debt. There is no need to suffer the unknown. Our Hawaii bankruptcy attorney knows just what it takes to set your financial life back on track. Take a decisive step forward – contact our law firm today by calling 808-528-4274 or fill out our online questionnaire.