It’s unfortunate that many individuals are afraid to declare bankruptcy because they feel that their peers, colleagues, or even employers will view them as irresponsible. Yet, there are many genuine reasons that could move a person towards filing bankruptcy, from lost or diminished income due to the death of a spouse to severe illness to divorce.
So, how do employers view employees and candidates who have filed for bankruptcy? Should you disclose this information freely? How should you deal with any disapproval?
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Your bankruptcy should have no effect on your employment, except in a few cases (often related to licensing/ bonding requirements) depending on the type of work you are doing or applying for.
- If you have declared bankruptcy but your debts are yet to be discharged, you will likely have trouble getting bonded anyways. This may, in turn, cause regulatory bodies and statutes to keep you from assuming certain roles in different organisations, such as being the director of a co-op, credit union, or condo corporation.
- You are not obligated to proactively reveal your bankruptcy status to an employer. That said, many employers usually ask the short-listed applicants to provide a credit check. This would allow them to view your credit history, as well as other personal information such as your previous employers, your borrowing tendencies, and even your ability to pay off debt. There are some jobs that almost always require candidates to provide a credit check, such as those involving finance and money-handling duties where you will be handling significant amounts of money.
- If you don’t want to disclose your credit history, you can provide the prospective employer with your own copy of the report – trimmed – or agree to disclose some of the information requested.
- Although no government agency can legally deny you employment because you are a bankrupt, businesses in the private sector may find a justifiable cause to deny you employment. For instance, your may be ineligible for jobs requiring you to handle finances if the company views bankruptcy as a negative element.
- The older your bankruptcy, the lower the chances that it will affect your job search, even in the private sector.
If you are struggling with debt because you’re afraid that your job may be adversely affected by filing for bankruptcy, you should consider seeking professional bankruptcy services to discuss your options. Keep in mind that declaring bankruptcy gives you an opportunity to live debt-free.