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Will Bankruptcy Affect My Security Clearance?

Vivona Pandurangi, PLC April 8, 2022

Working for the government requires having a security clearance. The security clearance allows you to have access to certain classified national security information. For individuals facing financial adversity and considering bankruptcy, there is a collective popular notion that filing for bankruptcy would possibly make you lose your security clearance. An experienced Virginia bankruptcy attorney can enlighten you about how bankruptcy affects your security clearance.Top view of stressed young sitting woman

At Vivona Pandurangi, PLC, we are committed to offering experienced legal guidance and strong advocacy to clients in bankruptcy-related matters. Our trusted attorneys are available to discuss your unique circumstances, help you understand the effect of bankruptcy on your security clearance, and explore your possible options to seek financial relief. We’re proud to serve clients across Falls Church, Manassas, Arlington, Alexandria, Loudoun County, and Fairfax County, Virginia.

What Is Security Clearance?

A security clearance allows a person who occupies a particular position to have access to classified national security information up to and including the level of the clearance held by them, provided that they “need to know” such information. The different types of security clearances for national security positions include secret, top-secret, confidential, and sensitive compartmented information.

What Affects Security Clearance?

Generally, security clearance decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. Here are some factors that may be taken into account during the evaluation process:

  • Allegiance to the United States

  • Financial responsibility

  • Personal conduct

  • Foreign influences and preferences

  • Sexual behavior

  • Criminal conduct

  • Alcohol or drug use

  • Ability to handle classified information

  • Use of information technology

  • Psychological disorders

  • Other outside activities

Financial responsibility remains the most common reason for security clearance denials. An experienced attorney can enlighten you about how bankruptcy may affect your security clearance and help you navigate crucial decisions regarding your financial situation.

Will Bankruptcy Affect My Security Clearance?

Typically, filing for bankruptcy relief alone will not directly affect your security clearance or prevent you from obtaining a security clearance. In fact, seeking relief under Chapter 7 of the U.S. bankruptcy code shows that you’re taking the right steps to resolve your financial situation, thus improving your prospects of getting cleared.

However, the surrounding circumstances that made you file for bankruptcy will affect your ability to obtain a security clearance. Some common financial considerations that may disqualify you from obtaining a security clearance include:

  • Inability or unwillingness to settle your debts

  • Finding it difficult to meet your financial obligations constantly

  • Having financial issues due to alcoholism, gambling, or drug abuse

  • Failing to file your income tax returns on time

  • Living an expensive lifestyle that isn’t consistent with your income

  • Having frivolous and irresponsible spending habits

  • Committing illegal actions such as tax evasion, theft, embezzlement, or other types of financial misconduct

A knowledgeable attorney can enlighten you about your unique situation and determine whether filing for bankruptcy will jeopardize your security clearance.

How an Experienced Attorney Can Help You

In Virginia, filing for bankruptcy is among the promising options for individuals experiencing financial adversity to achieve debt relief. However, the circumstances that led you to petition for bankruptcy may affect your security clearance. Therefore, if you’re considering filing for bankruptcy while having access to classified national security information, consulting with an experienced bankruptcy attorney is crucial for proper guidance and to help you navigate intelligent decisions.

At Vivona Pandurangi, PLC, our attorneys have devoted their careers to offering outstanding legal services and guiding clients in complex bankruptcy matters involving security clearance decisions. As your legal counsel, we will evaluate your unique financial situation, enlighten you about the financial considerations that affect your security clearance, and determine the ideal option to seek relief.

Also, our trusted team will help complete your forms, file your bankruptcy petition, and guide you through the bankruptcy process from start to finish. Using our extensive knowledge, we will craft an effective strategy to help you avoid financial difficulty and ensure that you are not disqualified from obtaining a security clearance.

If you are going through financial distress and considering filing for bankruptcy, call Vivona Pandurangi, PLC today to schedule a simple consultation. Our trusted attorneys can offer you the knowledgeable legal counsel and reliable advocacy you need throughout the bankruptcy process. We proudly serve clients across Falls Church, Manassas, Arlington, Alexandria, Loudon County, and Fairfax County, Virginia.