Will Filing Bankruptcy Cause Me To Lose My Security Clearance?

I personally have never had a client tell me their job or security clearance required for a job was put into jeopardy because they filed bankruptcy. It is my understanding that government employers are more concerned with the events that lead to the bankruptcy than the fact that a bankruptcy was filed. If the debtor filed bankruptcy because of medical bills or in order to protect a home from foreclosure following a job loss and missed payments, then bankruptcy and credit are less problematic than for a debtor whose financial problems are the result of gambling or out of control spending.

One of the reasons a security clearance may require a credit check is to determine whether the applicant would be susceptible to a bribe. Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges debt within three to four months and Chapter 13 bankruptcy puts debtors on a payment plan they can afford. Both types of bankruptcy should make an applicant appear more trustworthy than a person who is struggling with mountains of high-interest debt.

If this common sense approach to the question isn’t enough, consider that the Bankruptcy Code states that “…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.” 11 U.S.C. § 525.