Iowa Bankruptcy Attorney


October 10, 2021

Many debtors worry that filing bankruptcy will harm their employment chances, but the truth is that filing bankruptcy could help if you’re looking for work. Let’s take a closer look at four ways that filing bankruptcy could help your job hunt.

1. Protect your future wages.

When you’re deeply in debt, your future wages are at risk. Even if you’re unemployed or underemployed today, creditors can go after your earnings tomorrow. By filing bankruptcy you protect your future wages from being diverted to creditors. Protecting your future wages today will put you in the mindset necessary to go after higher paying opportunities.

2. Eliminate the risk of wage garnishment.

Many employers vetting job candidates are cautious about anyone who is deeply in debt. Hiring indebted people opens them up to the risk of having to carry out wage garnishments on behalf of creditors. However, if you file bankruptcy, no creditor can garnish your wages if the debt you owed was discharged. This gives any future employer a certain security that they won’t be forced to carry out wage garnishment orders, and that’s worth a lot.

3. Show you’re proactive about fixing your financial problems.

Many debtors fear being perceived as irresponsible if employers find out about their bankruptcy filing, but the opposite is often true. By filing bankruptcy when you can no longer pay your debts, you demonstrate that you’re responsible enough to take proactive steps to resolve outstanding financial issues.

4. Eliminate security risk.

One of the things that debtors don’t consider when looking for employment is that people with debts are often perceived as security risks because they may be easier to bribe. This is especially important for positions that require security clearance such as certain jobs in the CIA or FBI. By eliminating debts in bankruptcy, you also eliminate much of the security risk associated with being deeply indebted.

Interview Tips

Be Honest

If you know that your potential employer is going to run a credit check, it’s in your best interest to address the problem beforehand. In situations where you are handling money or responsible for financial transactions, you should be especially prepared. Mention that you have taken Credit Counseling and Debtor Education courses as part of your bankruptcy requirements to ensure you are back on your way to a healthy financial future.

If you do not have an explanation, or let them know that you have a Bankruptcy on record, or that you are in the process of filing, it may appear that your intention was to hide it or omit information during the interview. It’s best to have a clear and confident explanation of why you needed to declare. Don’t be ashamed, or feel like you don’t deserve the job. You absolutely do. There’s nothing wrong with making the right decision for your future, and you should view and convey it as a responsible action on your part.

Here are a few examples. Yours should be specific to your situation, and honestly express the reason you filed:

I was injured, couldn’t work and my savings only carried me so far. After I got better, the mounting bills were just too much, and I was too far behind to catch up. The fresh start has giving me the ability to rebuild the dreams I have for me and my family.

A family member passed away, and I struggled to keep up with bills that used to be supported with multiple incomes. It’s just me as the sole provider and I was getting deeper into a financial hole I couldn’t see my way out of. I needed help, and spoke to an attorney for advice. They helped me get back on my feet, and I am no longer distracted or stressed out about my financial situation.

I started a business, and things didn’t quite turn out the way I thought they would. In order to protect my family and our home, I needed to declare. We are saving and working our way back to a normal life. I’m anxious to work, and build value in myself again.

I was young and made some bad decisions with money, getting in way over my head. In an effort to be more responsible I’ve simplified my life, have taken the required bankruptcy courses and am actively working to repair my credit.

Have Lots of Recommendations

The best way to combat a negative on your record, is with positive reinforcements. Having a handful of recommendations for previous employers, colleagues, and friends can help sway a decision in your favor. Despite your financial history, you are a good person, hard worker, and dedicated employee. Those are the traits you should highlight. Ask around, and compile a folder of recommendation letters you can present during the interview.

Pay Your Bills on Time

If it was a short time ago that you declared Bankruptcy, do the best you can to stay on top of your bills. Making payments on time is a clear sign that you are making an effort to succeed. Over time your credit score will rise, and open the financial door to you again. Check out how to quickly rebuild your credit after bankruptcy for some ideas.

Lastly, Remember Your Rights

Employers must inform you that they are going to run your credit report, or ask you to produce it yourself. They are also not allowed to discriminate against you for filing Bankruptcy. There are of course exceptions, such as financial or money related positions. If you feel you are being bullied, or discriminated against without cause or reason, you should seek the opinion of a licensed attorney.

Don’t let fear stop you from filing bankruptcy and discharging your debts in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, seizing a second chance at financial freedom could open many doors to opportunity.

Is bankruptcy right for you?

Schedule your free consultation with John Miller today to find out!

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