Our Bankruptcy Blog

How Will Bankruptcy Impact my Security Clearance?

It’s normal to have questions when filing for bankruptcy. This is especially true when regarding security clearance. There are many scenarios that can affect a security clearance including personal conduct, alcohol use, and financial considerations. However, filing for bankruptcy itself won’t prevent you from receiving security clearance. There are various factors that will affect security clearance outside of bankruptcy. These are considered when deciding whether someone is a security risk or not.

Factors That Affect Security Clearance

There are 13 guidelines that are considered when granting or denying security clearance.

These include:

  1. Allegiance to the United States
  2. Foreign influence
  3. Foreign preference
  4. Sexual behavior
  5. Personal conduct
  6. Financial considerations
  7. Alcohol use
  8. Drug use
  9. Psychological disorders
  10. Criminal conduct
  11. Handling classified information
  12. Outside activities
  13. Use of information technology

Out of all the guidelines, the most commonly cited in security clearance denials are financial considerations. Though bankruptcy won’t impact your security clearance directly, the circumstances surrounding it might.

How Debt Can Make Someone a Security Risk

During the vetting process, personal information is compiled to calculate an individual’s trustworthiness. This boils down to whether an individual can be trusted to safeguard classified information. If there are indications that a person cannot be trusted with classified information, their security clearance may be denied. For example, if you have a history of unpaid debts this can be seen as a lack of self-control or poor judgment. The debt also makes you more susceptible to bribery. However, filing for bankruptcy and seeking financial counsel to resolve your debts can positively impact your clearance considerations.

How Bankruptcy Can Help with Security Clearance

Clearing out debt by filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can assist with the financial considerations from the security clearance guidelines. If you file bankruptcy to clear out unexpected debt it is almost always seen positively. Unexpected debt can occur when there is a loss of business, divorce, death or an unforeseen medical emergency. However, it may be harder to obtain a security clearance if the debt was accumulated through excessive spending or financial mismanagement. In this case, it’s best to seek debt management or credit counseling services in addition to filing bankruptcy. This can help relieve the government’s concern over a person’s financial standing. Bankruptcy in itself is a powerful and helpful tool for fast debt relief.

Contact a Bankruptcy Lawyer Today

If you’re experiencing financial troubles, especially those that can prevent you from getting a security clearance, get help today. Contact the attorneys at Parker & DuFresne and schedule a free consultation today. Bankruptcy is a powerful tool for fast debt relief, and we have decades of experience successfully helping the people of Jacksonville live debt-free.

Parker and DuFresne

Parker and DuFresne