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Employers cannot discriminate based on bankruptcy, but they can discriminate

Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Will anyone find out about my bankruptcy?”


No one doubts that bankruptcy is a big deal. But when that big deal is finally in your rear-view mirror, how big of a deal is the fact that you have gone through bankruptcy to a potential employer?

Job Fair Charlotte Debt Lawyer Mecklenburg Bankruptcy AttorneyIt can be a very big deal, depending on the employer. Most employers ask applicants if they have ever declared bankruptcy. Even if they do not ask, however, employers will probably find out anyways. Bankruptcies are reflected on credit reports, and many services that provide background checks on prospective employees display data related to bankruptcy filings.

And it’s not always the bankruptcy, in and of itself, that is most damaging to a prospective employee’s chances at landing a job. Oftentimes the credit report itself—evincing the battle scars of financial troubles that led (or almost led) to bankruptcy—is enough to screen your application out. Bad credit scores and numerous delinquencies may indicate a theft risk to some employers. Others may reason that if you cannot keep up with your own day-to-day finances, you will not be able to keep up with the day-to-day vagaries of the position for which you are applying.

While it is not legal for employers to reject an applicant just because one has declared bankruptcy, it is perfectly legal to reject an applicant on the basis of a poor credit score or poor credit history.

The Motley Fool, LLC, writing in Nasdaq, encourages post-bankruptcy job hunters to be as up-front as possible about the circumstances that led to a bankruptcy declaration. Bad things happen to good people, and some bad things have happened to you. But you’ve learned from your mistakes, and you’re better and stronger for it. What you learned through the adversity of bankruptcy has actually made you more qualified as a person and as a prospective employee.

That gets to the second point: don’t let bankruptcy define you. Use your bankruptcy to define yourself.

If your financial credit is important to a prospective employer, be proactive about your application and about that issue. Line up some professional references who can attest to your values and your trustworthiness. Sure, you’ve been through some tough times, but you handled your affairs the right way, and now you are ready to move on.

As time goes by and your bankruptcy recedes further and further into the past, your credit score will improve and the after-effects of financial hardship will begin to dissipate. As they do, your past—and your bankruptcy—will define you less and less, and you can pave new paths into a bright financial future.

If you find yourself needing the services of a Charlotte, North Carolina bankruptcy attorney, please call the skilled lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC find additional resources here. As professionals who are experienced at handling all kinds of bankruptcy matters, our attorneys will provide you with the best advice for your particular situation.



About the Author

Bryan 1Bryan Stone is a Partner with Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses his practice on all aspects of bankruptcy, including: Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 13, home loan modifications and landlord-tenant issues.

A native of Macon, Georgia, Mr. Stone attended the University of Georgia, where he earned a BBA in Banking and Finance, and Wake Forest University School of Law, where he obtained his law degree.

Following law school, Mr. Stone relocated to Charlotte, where he currently serves as Chair of “Bravo!” – a young professionals organization associated with Opera Carolina – and founded the University of Georgia Alumni Association of Charlotte.

In his spare time, Mr. Stone enjoys perfecting his barbeque skills for the annual “Q-City BBQ Championship” and playing softball in the Mecklenburg County Bar softball league.







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