Employment and bankruptcy: Why bankruptcy filers should not lose sleep

In any society, the concept of getting something and not paying for it seems wrong. The incorrect assumption of many people who have never filed bankruptcy might be that an individual ran up credit cards, borrowed money and never intended to pay it back. The actual amount of true bankruptcy fraud is quite small and the majority of people who file for bankruptcy protection had never imagined they would find themselves in a state of financial emergency. The economic collapse in 2008 significantly changed the landscape of financial assumptions in the U.S. First, we no longer assume jobs and markets are bulletproof. Second, we all know someone negatively affected by the bad economy. Third, we all probably know someone we regard as a good person with strong character who filed for bankruptcy protection when the economy or a financial emergency threatened his or her livelihood.

With so many people taking advantage of bankruptcy laws, it is tough for employers to be that fussy.

Since the end of the economic boom in the 90s, many people bought more house than they could afford, expecting values to continue rising and equity building. Many more people were cut short when their companies started laying people off. Meanwhile, others who had a good amount of money in savings may have lost most of it due to illness, not being able to find another job, or an emergency event such as a traffic accident or other personal injury. As more people learned that bankruptcy was there to help them out, and they did not “lose it all” in the process, like some people think, the perception and feeling about bankruptcy improved.

Since so many people have taken advantage of the bankruptcy laws and protection, it is more difficult for an employer to deny a job to someone based on their current or recent past financial situation. It may be illegal for an employer to deny your application simply because you filed for bankruptcy, in federal, state and local government positions. In private companies, however, the potential employer may be allowed to inquire as to your financial status and review your credit. As stated earlier, with such a large number of people with bankruptcies in their past, the pool of applicants for jobs could be wrongly skewed when candidates are rated not on their education, experience and background, but rather whether they have ever filed for bankruptcy protection.

While many employers may not care about a bankruptcy, some positions involving money may require additional consideration.

There are some positions involving money, budgeting and financial expertise, where the employer might not consider an applicant who has experienced personal financial emergency or has taken advantage of bankruptcy protection. Having said that, many of those companies might have themselves taken advantage of bankruptcy laws to restructure their debts and creditor obligations.

If during the application and interview process the topic of financial security and bankruptcy were to come up, it is smart to have a prepared explanation of what occurred and why you may have decided to file for bankruptcy protection. The same way you might let a friend or family member know that bankruptcy is not bad, it is a provision of the law to give people a fresh start in uncommon circumstances, you as a job applicant might explain those uncommon circumstances, often not within your control, and assure them that you made the best decision to protect your home and your family when the chips were down. An honest and forthright job applicant may be just the person they are looking to hire.

Joseph Wrobel and his associates are not only bankruptcy attorneys, but also counselors to their clients, to help them get that fresh start they need and get back on their feet without feeling shame or fearing they shouldn’t apply for that dream job.

Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. helps people get control of their finances and a fresh start at financial freedom. The firm’s website contains informative videos about financial issues as well as bankruptcy protection for families who want a fresh start. To keep in touch and read about consumer finance news and stories you can “Like” the firm’s Facebook page and “Follow” Joseph Wrobel. Ltd. on Twitter. If you need immediate legal assistance, please call Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. by calling (312) 781-0996 to talk to an attorney today.