Bankruptcy And Security Clearances

Biometric Security

Biometric Security

For those with clearance to access classified information, the question of bankruptcy might not immediately bring to mind any concerns about your continued access to that information.

However, it should. There is a definite connection between these two seemingly unrelated items.

In fact, according to recent studies, 50% of clearance denials in 2007 by the DOHA were due to financial problems on the part of a person with access to classified information. Why is this? What is the connection between the two?

In essence, you can boil it down to a question of trust. When sensitive information is in question, your financial troubles make you more likely to be tempted to do unethical things, in the eyes of the government or companies with classified information.

This makes you a potential threat. However, you should understand that suspension or revocation of your security clearance is not an automatic thing. In fact, there are numerous factors that can affect whether you lose your clearance or not. What are these factors? How does this work?

The circumstances surrounding your bankruptcy will certainly play a role. For example, if you have a considerable amount of unpaid debt, this can weigh negatively (your debt load can cause revocation of your clearance even without filing for bankruptcy).

However, your bankruptcy might also be viewed in a positive light. For instance, this is deemed a financially responsible way of handling your debt, rather than attempting to evade or elude your creditors, or attempting to pass bad checks to cover your debt temporarily.

Therefore, your clearance might not be affected by your filing for bankruptcy at all.

According to government sources, the most pressing concern where people with access to classified information is concerned is actually a large amount of unsettled debt. The more debt you have, the more likely you are to sell secrets, to take a bribe or to do other unethical things.

By taking the initiative to settle your debt through approved channels, you are showing your employer that you are a responsible individual and that you will not put their sensitive information in jeopardy.

Therefore, filing bankrupt can actually be the best thing possible for those with considerable debt and no way out. It can allow you to continue your life and might not have any affect at all on your security clearance in the long run.

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