Over the last several years, an increasing number of people in Oklahoma have found themselves filing bankruptcy due to unmanageable debt. Bankruptcy can be useful in helping you to restructure your debt and rebuild your finances. But how will bankruptcy affect your current job or future employment opportunities? The good news is, with some exceptions, it should not have much affect at all.
When you file for bankruptcy, the court is required to send notice of your filing to all of your creditors. Afterwards, your bankruptcy becomes a matter of public records and will be listed in your credit history. All the same, those not involved in your bankruptcy will usually not find out about it unless you tell them, they endeavor to search the public records or you consent to a credit check.
If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your employer will typically not find out about your filing, unless your wages were being garnished before you filed and your employer has to be notified to stop the garnishment after you file. On the other hand, during Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the court often needs to notify your employer in the form of an “income deduction order” to automatically deduct money from your pay checks in order to meet the terms of your repayment plan.
The above notwithstanding, it is against the law for your current employer to fire you because you filed for bankruptcy. Furthermore, they cannot change the terms or conditions of your employment without having other valid reasons to do so. In other words, they cannot treat you any differently because you filed for bankruptcy than would have had you not filed for bankruptcy. If you are fired soon after filing for bankruptcy and suspect that is this is the reason, you may be able to sue your employer for illegal discrimination.
In addition, Federal law prevents you from being denied federal, state or local government employment because you have filed for bankruptcy. On the other hand, private employers are not specifically prohibited from doing so. While, prospective employers are not allowed to ask direct questions about your personal financial history, they can ask you to consent to a credit check and take into consideration whatever it reveals. If you choose not to consent, they may also use this as criteria to deny your application.
So, if you are concerned about how bankruptcy will affect your current job or future employment possibilities, know that the law provides protection to prevent your current employer from discriminating against you because you have filed for bankruptcy. Furthermore, you cannot be denied a federal, state or local government job because you have filed for bankruptcy. On the other hand private employers can require access to your credit history and deny you a job opportunity if it raises any “red flags”.
Ultimately, the extent of the personal financial information you share with your current or prospective employer is, to some degree, up to you. But when required to do so, being forthright and honest about filing for bankruptcy may prevent it from coming back to haunt you in the future.
Free Consultation: Oklahoma City Bankruptcy Attorney
To find out more about how to successfully file bankruptcy in Oklahoma, contact a Oklahoma City bankruptcy attorney. For a free confidential consultation about your rights in bankruptcy court and the potential benefits of filing bankruptcy, contact the Debt Line Law Office at (405) 563-7888. If you prefer e-mail, send us your question using the form at the top right of this page and we’ll answer your question as soon as possible.