Being unemployed after filing bankruptcy can be extremely frightening, as you don’t want to get back into the same situation that you recently got yourself out of. Bankruptcy is designed to be a fresh start, so it is your responsibility to make the best of it. Make sure not to second-guess your decision. You received protection from foreclosure, credit card debt help, and relief from harassing creditors and you did so for the future of you and your family. There isn’t anything to be ashamed of.
While Section 525(b) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code prohibits discrimination against anyone solely on the basis of insolvency, employers still have the right to screen applicants before hiring them, and it can be extremely difficult for an applicant to prove discrimination. The employer’s concern is a reasonable one: Individuals working in financial, government, high security, or retail occupations are more at risk for embezzlement, bribery, fraud, or robbery if they have had previous financial issues.
So what can a job seeker do to counteract the effects of bankruptcy on employment opportunities? The best advice I can give is to inform interviewers regarding any discrepancies that might be found in credit reports or background checks before they discover them. The employer should appreciate your honesty and evaluate you for the skills you bring to the job. Approach a prospective employer with confidence, professionalism and a smile. Although it is the best practice to disclose your financial past to the interviewer, don’t let it define you or take over the entire conversation in the interview.
You want this job to continue to be financially responsible for yourself and your family. Any potential employer should recognize this and be able to keep the focus of the interview on the position at hand and not on your past. Make sure the spotlight is on your skill level, job history and ability to perform the tasks at hand. Paint a picture of past workplace successes and superior abilities. A positive attitude, along with a job-winning resume, go a long way in convincing a prospective employer that, despite your imperfect credit report, they have the right person for the job!
Are you currently in credit card debt, but are afraid to file bankruptcy because you think you may lose your job over it? Contact me today. I offer a free consultation to all new clients. We can discuss your individual financial situation and decide if filing bankruptcy is the right choice for you and your family.