If you are unemployed or you are looking for a new job, you may be wondering whether an employer can ask you about filing for bankruptcy. Without a job, paying off the debt you owe can seem impossible, and you may not be sure what you can do to get out of debt. At the same time, you plan to keep looking for a new job, but you are worried that an interviewer may deny you employment because you filed for bankruptcy.

Many people worry about whether a potential employer can ask whether they have filed for bankruptcy, but there is no reason to worry. Employers are not allowed to dig into specific personal issues. They cannot ask whether you file for bankruptcy or if you are in the process of filing for bankruptcy. They cannot ask whether your wages were being garnished at your last job. 

The Topic of Bankruptcy in Job Interviews

The primary way that your bankruptcy will come up in a job interview is if you volunteer the information. For example, suppose your potential employer asks you why you want the job for which you are interviewing. Without thinking, you say that you have been unemployed and cannot pay your bills, so you had to declare bankruptcy. 

You have certain rights, and interviewers have specific legal obligations about what they can and cannot ask. There is no reason that a person cannot be a productive and effective employee if they declared bankruptcy in the past, so the fact that you have declared bankruptcy should not hinder your job search.

Do I Have to Disclose a Bankruptcy to a Potential Employer?

Bankruptcies are not confidential legal proceedings. Anyone can search for a bankruptcy proceeding because they are in the public record. However, most employers do not spend the energy looking into bankruptcies for potential employees. You will not need to talk about your bankruptcy unless it is explicitly required. For example, if you are applying for a security clearance, credit, or employment, the application may specifically ask you if you filed for bankruptcy. In that case, you do need to be honest.

However, you do not need to voluntarily tell your employer that you filed for bankruptcy in the past. Keep in mind that if your employer or potential employer does run a credit check or a public record check, they may find out about your bankruptcy. The bankruptcy trustee may send your employer a wage deduction order so your employer can withhold payment from your paycheck. Now, many job applications ask for information about prior bankruptcies, and many employers require a background check as part of the application. Nonetheless, many employers will not dig too deeply into personal matters such as your financial history. 

Contact a San Diego Bankruptcy Attorney

Do you have questions about filing for bankruptcy, including whether you need to disclose your bankruptcy to a potential employer? If so, the experienced lawyers at Bankruptcy Law Center are here to help. Contact our San Diego Bankruptcy Law Firm today to learn more about how we can help you get a fresh financial start.