For Pennsylvanians who file for consumer bankruptcy, the decision is the culmination of facing significant debt, making good faith efforts to pay what is owed, dealing with the fear and worry that accompanies the seemingly endless phone calls from creditors, and finally deciding to move forward with a filing. Despite the freedom from debt that bankruptcy provides, there are still concerns that should be addressed.
An issue that may cause worry is if the bankruptcy might negatively impact a job search. Even with the positives that accompany a successful bankruptcy, it could have pitfalls. When seeking a new job, if a prospective employer looks at the applicant’s credit, the bankruptcy information will be available if it was filed within 10 years if it was a Chapter 7 and seven years if it was a Chapter 13. The potential employer will not see the credit score.
A substantial number of employers are assessing a person’s credit regardless of the type of job he or she wants. That goes beyond corporate jobs and can include people who are working in jobs for which credit might not be considered important like a server, a salesperson and a delivery driver. Based on the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the applicant has the ability to deny an employer the right to conduct a credit check, but that can cost them the job.
Employers have the legal right to conduct a credit check and can decide not to give the person the job because of a refusal and because of what is in the credit report. If there is a dispute over something in the credit report, the employer must take another look at the employment decision and reconsider it. Only private sector employers can look at a person’s credit record during the job search.
Hindering a job search is just one factor that accompanies a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Debtors should be cognizant of the possible challenges after a bankruptcy in addition to the benefits. Discussing the case with an experienced legal professional might help.