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Security Clearance & Bankruptcy

 

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Whether you are a military service member or a civilian contractor working on a project for the DOD, financial mismanagement can jeopardize your ability to get and keep a security clearance.  The effect of bad or delinquent debt on your clearance depends on a multitude of factors including the level of your security clearance and what led to the debt.  However, one of the most important factors is whether the indebtedness and default has been resolved.  Bankruptcy can help.

Bankruptcy Acknowledged By The Military & Contractors As A Solution

The filing of a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is acknowledge by both the military security investigation services as well as civilian clearance investigation services as an acceptable was of resolving financial issues.  As a federal right you have protections backed up by federal law against being discriminated in many situations should you file bankruptcy.  The stigma of bankruptcy that was felt many decades ago has been proven invalid in the eyes of the federal government and specifically the military branches.  The realization was that just because people have had past financial difficulties which have been resolved, it didn’t make them a security risk.  However, the problem that does exist for those holding or applying for a security clearance is unresolved financial difficulties.

The thought is that if you are under stress due to your financial situation you are more likely to be vulnerable to financial coercion in return for providing classified information.  Studies of spy cases from penetrations of military intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and all levels of government point to financial coercion as one of the top motivations in cooping an individual into spying.

Filing a bankruptcy not only eliminates the debt, it removes the suspicion of your vulnerability to such coercion.

Security Clearance & Bankruptcy Considerations

Losing your security clearance means losing your job in most cases.  Filing a bankruptcy means saving your job, eliminating the debt your have been stressing about, reestablishing your credit and a less stressful more financially rewarding life.

The security clearance adjudication process looks at the “whole person” or “totality of circumstances” when weighing whether to issue or reissue a security clearance.  Resolving your financial issues alone does not guarantee a security clearance.  If you have multiple issues that raise concerns about your access to classified information you may still be denied a clearance.

As a former CIA officer, attorney John G. Merna is personally familiar with security clearance issues and adjudication.  We have helped hundreds of service members, DOD civilians employees and civilian contractors avoid the loss of  their “tickets” due to debt. Don’t wait until the security office is processing your application or reinvestigation before you take steps to resolve your debt.  Call us today at 800-662-8813 or fill out the form below.

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Call us today 800-662-8813. We have valuable experience with bankruptcy and the security clearance process that may save not only your clearance but your job.

 

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Archive: Security Clearance & Bankruptcy

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by John G. Merna

 

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