Will my bankruptcies show up on a background check?

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Q. Can a background check for a law enforcement job find a Chapter 7 bankruptcy from 10 years ago? I have one from 2000, which is no longer on my credit report, and another one from 2016. I hear they disqualify you if you have more than one bankruptcy.
— Job hunter

A. Bankruptcies are often seen as a negative, but it also shows you’ve taken steps to hopefully get your financial life on the right track.

Although you may have fallen on hard times in the past and are concerned that a future employer will disqualify you as a candidate, according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, bankruptcies that are more than 10 years old are not allowed to be on an employee background check, said Karra Kingston, a bankruptcy attorney in Union City.

She said government employers are forbidden by federal law to refuse employment to someone solely because they filed bankruptcy, she said, noting this applies on the federal, state and local levels.

“If bankruptcy is the only reason that you would not get the position then it should not be an issue,” Kingston said. “However, if you have other things pop up on the background check including the bankruptcy, then it might be grounds for denying your employment.”

Private employers are not given the same restrictions, she said, so the law does not forbid them from refusing employment because of bankruptcy.

If you are concerned about your employment than you could pull your own background check and see if it shows up, Kingston said.

“If it does appear, you may want to disclose this information to your potential employer at the onset,” she said. “Many employers are understanding and know that people can face hardships throughout life such as divorce or medical issues, thus discussing your hardship may be able to save you a lot of headaches.”

Good luck in getting the job!

Email your questions to moc.p1561586978leHye1561586978noMJN1561586978@ksA1561586978.

This story was originally published on June 11, 2019.

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