Going through bankruptcy while trying to pass security clearance is a tough situation. Every aspect of your life is under a microscope. Not only is the military and governmental agencies asking comprehensive and in-depth questions, so is the bankruptcy court. Filing for bankruptcy (either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13) does not automatically lead to a military clearance disqualification. It is the reason you are filing that can hurt your security chances.
Typical Questions That Demand Answers
- Allegiance to the U.S.
- Foreign influences and preferences
- Sexual behavior
- Personal conduct
- Financial responsibility
- Drug and alcohol use
- Psychological disorders
Why is the Government Looking at My Financial Records?
They are looking to see if you can live within your means. If you are living a lifestyle you cannot afford on your salary, this could indicate a vulnerability. Your finances speak to your self-control and judgment. If you are unable to say no to a new car you cannot afford, you may not be able to turn down a bribe. Individuals with money issues are often targets for criminal elements looking to breach military security.
What Issues Will Raise Red Flags?
Those reviewing your records are looking at personal factors that affect your financial decisions. Here is a list of a few of the areas that are scrutinized:
- Reckless spending
- Difficulty meeting obligations
- Debts from gambling, alcoholism or drug use
- Ability or willingness to pay debts
- Committing illegal acts like embezzlement, theft, tax evasion
- Failure to file timely income tax returns
- Maintaining an expensive lifestyle while ignoring obligations
When is a Bankruptcy Filing Okay for Security Clearance?
The military looks at the circumstances surrounding your bankruptcy. If you file due to a job loss, divorce or medical issue, they view your situation in a more favorable light. They are looking to see how you handled your finances before the bankruptcy. If you paid on time and it is only this one event causing your money problems, you may clear the security review.
Can Filing for Bankruptcy Help in Getting My Clearance Approved?
It can. Your files show you are having financial trouble and the individuals reviewing your case see that. Be proactive and file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Prove you are a responsible person who honors their financial obligations. By filing, you remove the chance someone could use your money problems to coerce you into doing something illegal. It indicates you take security clearance seriously and leave nothing to chance.
Sawin & Shea – Indianapolis Bankruptcy Attorneys
If you are a member of a military branch or are applying for a job with the government, getting a security clearance is often critical. You need solid advice on how to improve your chances. The Indiana bankruptcy attorneys at Sawin & Shea can help you get rid of the debt and advise you on life after bankruptcy. We are here for you during this life-changing process. Please do not hesitate to call us today at 317-759-1483 or send an email for a free consultation. We are ready to help.