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Can Bankruptcy Prevent You from Getting a Job?

Can Bankruptcy Prevent You from Getting a Job?

If you're wondering whether bankruptcy can stop you from being employed, the answer is no. But the fact is that employers study an individual's credit report to ascertain what kind of a person he is and what kind of an employer he will be.
Rahul Thadani
Being declared bankrupt is a pretty traumatic experience, and the process of rehabilitation needs to be meticulously planned. Rebuilding one's credit score and financial stability is something that will take time and you need to be patient with the whole process. Technically, getting a job after bankruptcy is not impossible, but it is true that some people do find it quite difficult to do so.

If the job you are looking for involves working with a financial institution or a Government agency, then you need to prepare yourself for disappointment. Employers in this sector carefully study a potential employees credit history and this plays a major role in their decision-making. The sad part is that other private sector industries also carry out this check and reject people based on this, even though they should not be doing so.

The problem is that the whole issue becomes a vicious cycle of sorts. When one loses credibility one loses potential employability. The problem is that getting a safe and secure job and a regular revenue source is the very first step to rebuild credit after bankruptcy. Thus many people find themselves in a rut of sorts, and even though this is not spoken about much by employers the fact remains that they do check an individuals credit report before they hire them.

So What Can One Do

The nature of the job is the prime factor for you to keep in mind, because a job that will require you to deal with financial products and other valuable items may be out of your reach. The employer will view you as an unreliable individual and someone who will need a constant watch, so for most of them this is not worth their time. Instead, you must focus on some jobs which do not ask you to deal with sensitive products and information while you simultaneously rebuild your credit. This will require a lot of responsibility and sacrifice from you.

Another possible solution is to talk openly about your situation to the employer. Explain the reasons why you fell behind in your credit rating to him and if it was a genuinely unavoidable cause, the employer should understand. After all, it is not uncommon for an individual to be declared bankrupt and these things do happen. Ultimately each job interview will be unique and it will come down to how well you can convince the employer that the bankruptcy was beyond your control, and that you are taking responsible steps to rebuild your financial standing. If you are following a debt consolidation plan and have enlisted the help of a reputable agency for the same, you can show your employer that you are capable of correcting the situation, and are working towards recovering from bankruptcy.

Section 525(b) of the bankruptcy code prohibits employers from discriminating potential employees on the basis of their credit history so no one will tell you this is the reason why they have rejected you. Still, there is no harm in asking the employer the reason for your rejection. If you are convinced that the rejection has nothing to do with your bankruptcy then it is well and good. The nature of the situation will also play a role here as it will reflect on your attitude towards sound financial management. If you have filed for Chapter 7 then all your debts will be wiped out and you will start with a clean state, so this is not such a bad position after all. On the other hand, if you filed for Chapter 13 then you will need to stick to a detailed and structured repayment plan, and failure to make one or two payments could have dire consequences for you and your potential employability.

If you feel that you are being unfairly discriminated against due to your filing, then you must contact your attorney. He will guide you on the next course of action after carefully understanding the situation. It is illegal to refuse to hire or to fire an individual due to bankruptcy, so there is a chance that you can get a settlement out of the employer. Such cases are rare though, since employers will be very careful not to divulge such details. At the end of the day, getting a job after bankruptcy is highly difficult, but certainly not impossible.