Saturday, July 12, 2014

Bankruptcy and your security clearance

If  you have checked out my profile here or on my website, you'll see I spent over 30 years in the military and in federal civil service in some way or another over my life. During my federal career, I've held a security clearance as high as a Top Secret and never any level less than secret. So I have had some practical experience with the entire clearance process.

While I don't know if I ever assisted anyone through bankruptcy with a clearance, I have always held the opinion that bankruptcy will not impact your clearance. When your finances are such that you have a need to file for bankruptcy protection, you will not be able to hide your financial difficulties during your security investigation. Also, if you are ignoring the problem, you will not be able to hide that fact either. By filing for bankruptcy, you show you are serious about the problem and working to get your finances squared away. So while I don't know if I ever file bankruptcy for someone with a clearance, I have been asked and this has been my counsel.

So why do I bring this topic up if I don't know for sure? Well I found this article that reinforces and/or verifies my thought.

"Will I Lose My Security Clearance if I File Bankruptcy?"

The author of this article, Brett Weiss, Esq., states:

"... I have represented people who work at DOD, DIA, CIA, NSA and the White House, as well as every branch of the military. I have represented people with every possible security clearance, from Confidential to Top Secret (and the other clearances that have only letters and numbers describing them). NOT ONE has told me that a bankruptcy filing had any impact whatsoever on their security clearance, their job, or their advancement. I have even had clients tell me that their security officer told them that they needed to file for bankruptcy or they would lose (or not get) their clearance! The only requirement is that you tell your security officer before you file so that they know you are not trying to hide anything. They already know that you’re in financial difficulty–bankruptcy shows that you’re addressing the problem and fixing it..."

The bottom-line is you cannot hide your problem. Fixing it, even through bankruptcy, may help on many levels including your clearance.

#bankruptcy #Chapter_7 #Chapter_13 #Montgomery_County #law_firm #Bucks_County #Pennsylvania

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