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Will Filing for Bankruptcy Make it Harder to Find a Job?


Bankruptcy is a public process, but the odds your neighbor finds out you filed are probably pretty low. Most people do not undertake the type of investigation necessary to find out whether the people they know have filed for bankruptcy protection, so we encourage our clients not to be embarrassed when they file.

Things are different with employers, however. According to one study, about a third of employers run credit checks, and any bankruptcy will show up on that report.

Many people dread filing for bankruptcy because they are afraid that it will impede their ability to find work. These concerns are not entirely unrealistic. As experienced South Florida bankruptcy lawyers, we offer the following considerations to mull over if you are in the hunt for a job but also experiencing financial distress.

Will There Be a Credit Check?

Not all employers require a credit check. And they must get your permission before running one. You should ask around to see if a credit check will be performed.

Can You Delay Your Filing?

You might be applying for jobs right now but expect to get something soon. In that situation, you might delay your bankruptcy filing briefly. Ideally, it makes sense to file as soon as possible so that you can get creditors off your back. But if you dread having an employer find out, then you can delay filing for a short amount of time.

What Is Your Credit Like Right Now?

If your credit is in the tank, then you might just go ahead and file. Someone with a credit score in the 400s probably won’t be harmed too much by filing. In fact, you can tell an employer you are filing as a way of taking control of your finances and your life, which makes you appear proactive. However, if your credit is still reasonably good, then you might delay filing.

Will Filing actually Help a Job Search?

It might sound counterintuitive, but filing has advantages. For example, you can free up more money, which no longer will go to creditors. This might allow you to make necessary repairs on your vehicle or buy a new wardrobe, which can improve your chances of landing a job.

What Industry Are You Trying to Break Into?

Not all jobs are the same. For example, a government employer cannot hold a bankruptcy against you when you apply for a job. By contrast, private employers absolutely can consider your credit history.

If you are applying to work as a cashier in a bank or in sales, then filing for bankruptcy is probably a bigger mark against you than if you are trying to get a job as a personal trainer. Any job that requires that you work with money will probably result in a close look at your credit history.

If you are unsure of how hiring managers in your industry will treat a bankruptcy, talk to someone who currently works in the field. This should not be someone who works at a company you are applying to, since you don’t want to tip them off. But find someone with experience hiring people and ask if there is anything you can do to address a bankruptcy as part of the application process.

Discuss Your Concerns with a Professional Today

At Nowack & Olson, PLLC our Plantation bankruptcy attorneys never pressure a person to file for bankruptcy. Instead, we discuss the entire process with them to make sure they are fully on board. For a free consultation, please contact us today.


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