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Does Your Bankruptcy Show Up on an Employer Background Check?

Bankruptcy is intended to give people an opportunity to make amends with creditors and move forward with a fresh start. However, as long as a bankruptcy appears on your credit report, it may negatively affect many of   your aspirations, from securing a home loan to achieving certain career goals.

It is typical for companies to run background checks on job candidates before making offers of employment. But could a background check alert an employer to a previous bankruptcy and make them question your reliability as a potential employee? The answer: Possibly.

There are several different kinds of background checks, including those that look into criminal history, education, past employment and credit. A bankruptcy will show up on a credit report but should not appear on a criminal record or other reports. The type of checks an employer performs usually depends on the position being offered. If a job does not require the employee to manage someone else’s money or to assume fiscal oversight or responsibility, there may be no need for a credit check. In fact, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has cautioned companies against requesting unnecessary credit reports. Importantly, it is illegal for all government employers, from the federal to local level, to discriminate against a job applicant solely because of a past bankruptcy.

An employer may perform a credit check as part of the job vetting process only if you give them written permission. If you find yourself in a situation where your past bankruptcy will likely be disclosed through a credit check, it may be best to tell a prospective employer upfront before the check is performed. By disclosing the bankruptcy yourself, you can explain the circumstances involved and give the employer an understanding of how you’ve worked to overcome your past financial problems.

If you need help filing for bankruptcy or navigating the aftermath, contact the Law Offices of James C. Zimmermann. From our offices in Hackensack, Vernon, Wayne, Pompton Lakes and Nutley, we work with clients all across New Jersey. Call us at 973-764-1633 or contact us online.

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