A Bankruptcy Lawyer on Explaining Your Bankruptcy
Filing bankruptcy is a big decision. A lot of thought goes into finally accepting that you need to file and that you need the help of a bankruptcy lawyer to get your finances back in order. But, once you contact that bankruptcy lawyer and get the ball rolling, you might be met with a less expected roadblock: how to tell people you’re bankrupt. How do you tell your friends and family? Do you need to tell anyone? What about future employers or lenders?
Any bankruptcy lawyer understands the negative view many people still take of bankruptcy, even though they won’t necessarily agree with it. But, in being able to look at it this way, it makes it easier to give guidance to a client who might be worried about telling people they’ve had to file. In this blog entry, we offer some general advice on how to broach the topic of filing bankruptcy.
You Only Have to Tell Certain People
The first thing you should know is that you’re only legally required to tell people about previous bankruptcies in specific situations. If you’re asked whether you have ever filed for bankruptcy on any official paperwork, then you’re required to disclose it.
This includes military applications, certain other government applications, certain civilian job applications (more on this below), and applications for loans or opening bank accounts. Whether or not answering the question in the affirmative will affect the outcome depends on what the application is for, but the important thing is that you answer honestly.
Should I Tell Employers?
What about employers? Are you obligated to tell them about any previous bankruptcies? Technically, no. In most cases, employers tend not to ask prospective employees about their finances. However, if they do ask, it’s important to remember that financial information, such as credit history, is not difficult to obtain.
If you’re asked, and you tell them you have never filed, then their discovering a previous bankruptcy as part of a standard background check might well result in you not getting the job, or even getting fired later on.
Telling Friends and Family
This is where things get a little more complicated for some. Due to the negative perception of bankruptcy, it can be hard to admit to your friends and family who aren’t directly involved that you are filing bankruptcy. Any bankruptcy lawyer will tell you that it’s important your family and close friends know so that you have a decent support network to help you.
Legal aid from a professional is important, but emotional support and people who can help you reorganize your financial and personal situation once you file are, too. If you’re worried that they’ll think less of you because of a bankruptcy, you’re probably worrying far too much. Most people understand the difficulty in keeping up with debt, especially these days.
If you do encounter negativity, look at it as an opportunity to educate someone about the misconceptions of bankruptcy, and the positive effect it can have when done for the right reasons.
Contact a Qualified Bankruptcy Lawyer
This is just some general advice from a bankruptcy lawyer, and your individual situation will be different. You might not even be too concerned with telling anyone in the first place. However you feel about telling others you’ve had to declare bankruptcy, you should contact your local law firm in Springfield, MO for guidance. RGG Law can give you the right support so that you can navigate your case with confidence.