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Can bankruptcy impact your career?

Bankruptcy can be a helpful option for many people struggling with debt. However, there are many myths about filing bankruptcy that can make people wary about pursuing this option to relieve their debt.

These myths cause many people to worry about how bankruptcy will impact their lives, including their careers. So, is it true that filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy can affect an individual's career?

Legally, bankruptcy should not impact employment

The bankruptcy code actually has a specific safeguard in place for this exact worry. The code has an anti-discrimination section which explicitly states that most employers cannot terminate or demote an individual's employment because they filed bankruptcy.

Most employers do not terminate or avoid hiring someone because of a bankruptcy filing. However, it is important to note that there is a small loophole in this law that makes it possible for private employers to deny employment to future applicants who have filed bankruptcy in the past.

Regardless, it is possible for individuals who file bankruptcy to protect their rights and their careers.

Tips for preserving your job opportunities

Nowadays, losing a job can actually be a significant factor that caused someone to struggle with debt. So, what happens if they are seeking a new job in a private industry after bankruptcy?

Even though filing bankruptcy should not usually impact someone's employment, there are some steps individuals can take to protect their career if they are applying for a new job after bankruptcy, including:

  • Using a secured credit card or other means to build credit after bankruptcy;
  • Obtaining recommendations from professional colleagues and personal relations; and
  • Understanding both their rights under the bankruptcy code and employment laws.

Remember that debt is a common issue that many New Mexicans and Americans face. And struggling with debt does not affect one's work skills or determine how good of an employee they are.

Everyone's situation is different, but as long as individuals understand their rights throughout the bankruptcy process, they can protect themselves, their career and their future.

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