Will My Bankruptcy Show Up on a Background Check?
A lot of people worry that if they file for bankruptcy in Arizona, they won’t ever be able to get credit again. They know that bankruptcy can stay on their credit report for a long time, and that can make them seem like poor candidates for credit with future lenders.
What many people don’t realize, however, is that bankruptcy can also be an impediment to getting future jobs. Many employers run a comprehensive background check on prospective employees, which includes a criminal history, a credit check, and a public records check, and bankruptcy is included on the latter two. A bankruptcy filing can give employers pause, indicating that you may not be a person who makes good decisions or who is responsible.
Bankruptcy could also indicate to a prospective employer that you have a lot going on in your life that will distract you from work or cause you to call out often. If you are applying for a job that handles finance, a bankruptcy filing could indicate that you aren’t very good with finances.
Some employers just run a criminal background check, which would not include a bankruptcy filing. In other cases, you could also run out the clock on your bankruptcy filing. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Arizona stays on your credit record for 10 years, and an Arizona Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing stays on your record for seven years.
Consequences for Employment of Not Filing for Bankruptcy
All that may make bankruptcy sound very ominous and deter you from talking to a bankruptcy lawyer around Arizona when you need the debt relief. But the consequences of not filing for bankruptcy can be severe for your job search and other aspects of your life.
If you don’t file for bankruptcy, that means you are going to continue struggling with debt. You may use your credit cards to pay for the things you need, and as your balances climb higher, your credit score will lower. You may continue to pay things late or be unable to pay them at all, and that will leave your credit history littered with late payments and delinquencies. The longer that goes on, the longer your credit check will make you seem like a risk to employers. Filing for bankruptcy puts an end to that and starts the clock sooner for your negative credit history to expire.
Take Proactive Measures
If an employer runs a background check on you and finds any negative information, including a bankruptcy, you may be passed over for the position without even knowing why. If the employer lets you know that your background check was a problem, you may be able to explain. However, in many circumstances, you will never get that chance to explain and potentially persuade.
It’s far better if you take proactive action and let prospective employers know that you have a bankruptcy before they even run the background check. That way, you can be sure you get a chance to explain the circumstances behind the bankruptcy, such as a divorce, a sudden layoff, or an illness. You can assure the employer that the bankruptcy was unavoidable and that you are a responsible person who has since developed a plan for moving forward.
Repair Your Credit
Maybe you don’t have an “acceptable” explanation for your bankruptcy. Maybe you really did shop too much and fail to budget properly and you found yourself in over your head. You don’t have to wait for your bankruptcy to drop off your credit record to start making amends.
You can repair your credit quickly after a bankruptcy by making good choices and using credit wisely. You can get a credit card in as little as a year after your bankruptcy filing. If you use that credit card appropriately, you can start building up your score and creating a positive credit history again. Prospective employers will look at your credit history and see that you made a mistake but that you have learned from it and are making good choices – exactly what they would want to see in an employee.
Yes, an Arizona bankruptcy can show up on a background check for employment, for renting a new apartment, or for any other reason that a background check is required. That doesn’t have to mean that you are out of the running, nor does it have to mean that you should avoid bankruptcy because of potential future consequences. The consequences of not filing for bankruptcy can be much more severe and long-lasting. You can easily rebuild your credit and start rebuilding your life after a bankruptcy by making the right choices and working with the right advisers.
Talk to the bankruptcy attorneys at My AZ Lawyers if you are struggling with debt. They can help you understand how a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be able to give you the debt relief you so desperately need. Our attorneys serve clients in Mesa, Glendale, Tucson, and Phoenix, and they are committed to providing fast debt relief for all who qualify. Call our bankruptcy law office today to get started!
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