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Can I be denied a government job if I file bankruptcy?

Question: I don’t want to be discriminated against if I file bankruptcy because I’m applying for jobs with the state of Georgia and the United States government. I don’t want filing for bankruptcy to cost me a cushy government job.

But we really need to file. My husband and I have racked up massive credit debts in excess of $250,000. We kind of went a little crazy travelling and buying clothing and art and getting plastic surgery.

We started hanging out with new friends we met in Buckhead and they are big spenders. My husband knew a man from work and they got friendly and then we just met more people and our circle of friends just changed and pretty soon we were spending and partying like they all were.

We were taking trips to buy clothes and watches in Beverly Hills, Palm Beach and New York and then we started to get some plastic surgery. I had my breasts done and he got a facelift. We thought it would make us more attractive at the competitive swing clubs in Atlanta.

Since I got laid-off from my last job for making a few bad deals, I haven’t been able to find a new job in the finance industry. So now I’ve got a few job leads with the state of Georgia and the federal government.

There are some good people in the state and the federal government, but I’ve heard there’s a lot of “dead wood,” just people who are pretty incompetent just getting a pay check. You know, like the losers and idiots who work for the department of motor vehicles.

I need to know if filing for bankruptcy will prevent me from getting a job.

T.L. in Johns Creek, Georgia

Answer: Don’t worry, federal law, 11 U.S. Code § 525, prohibits governmental entities, including the state of Georgia, from discriminating against a person who has filed bankruptcy.

Section 525 is one of the many bankruptcy provisions Congress enacted to effectuate the “fresh start” policy behind personal bankruptcies. Congress wanted to enable people to eliminate their debts and to start their financial lives over, without worrying that they would be denied a government job because of a bankruptcy.

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