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Credit/Background Checks

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  • Credit/Background Checks

    In 2008, my company laid off everyone and closed their doors. Seeing the writing on the walls just before closing, I accepted a job with a 30% reduction in pay and a 200% increase in benefit costs. I had a job, something to be thankful for, considering the economic hurt we all feel.

    Needless to say, it didn't take long to eat up my savings and being on the edge of disaster, we were one medical bill away from bankruptcy. Well, disaster struck and I filed C7 which is now discharged and closed. The challenges are now beginning.

    I have taken the moderators advice and searched, searched and searched some more for any and all information regarding post BK employment credit/background checks. Lots of good stuff, great successes, some disappointments and basically I learned it is going to be a challenge for someone at my career level.

    I have interviewed for a large company, knew I sealed the deal for the job, signed the dreaded paperwork and bang....we decided to pursue another candidate. My credit reports did not show any hits, but I am now confident that the background check revealed the public record. I had my notes ready to explain the BK, but was never given the chance...I failed to do it when I signed.

    Fast forward three months and I find myself with one verbal offer and another pending a signature, based on acceptable credit/background checks. Here I sit loosing sleep and hair trying to decide when and who to discuss my BK with. Both jobs are executive level so I will be checked and rechecked... They only thing negative in either check is my BK. I was current on all my bills the day I filed, no lates, collections, garnishments, liens...nothing.

    I have not signed the dreaded papers, authorizing the checks, but anticipate it will come with the offers. I have my story, just the facts, ready to present at the right time to try and eliminate the only negative I have. I have interviewed with the President's of the companies, who would be my boss.

    I struggle with two things and need advice. First, who do I talk to, HR or my new boss? I know that the President signs off on the deal and they know I am underemployed right now. HR could nip it, but I believe at this company, for this position, they may or may not do a good job at presenting the facts.

    Secondly, I have read so many threads and Googled it many times, when is the right time to discuss and how do you present it? The application did not have the fine print regarding these checks only drug screens. My thought is to have the offer in hand, call and discuss with the President prior to them running the checks.

    I know that my BK will reveal itself and there is no tried and true method to overcome this challenge, but I needed to ask advice. One size does not fit all and my assumption is that a thorough background check will be done.

  • #2
    I have worked in the corporate and legal world most of my career; what you need to do know, due to the position you are seeking, is thoroughly investigate as much as possible the hiring practices of the company. Find out online as much as you can from their website. Secondly, you can bet you will be investigated and many companies frown on bad financial records for their higher-ups because those folks interact with other major companies and if a blemish like that comes out in executive/financial deals, you can see why it would look bad for the company. Therefore, most company's protect themselves by avoiding hiring an executive that has filed for personal bankruptcy or has a bad credit record. it is also done for insurance and legal purposes, is part of the company policy, and the company's main goal is to protect itself and its employees. If you owned a business, you would understand and think the same. It's all business, nothing personal - remember that. What you need to do is be open and honest about your situation to get your foot in the door. The time to do this is at your interview, after you promote yourself and your skills, experience and when you are asked if there are any questions. Get it out, be honest and explain why. They will find out anyway but they don't know the "why." They may or may not care. Remember, as I stated above, it's "Business." If they like you, your skills and experience, they will find a way to get around any bad credit or bankruptcy hurdle. Best of luck to you...
    _________________________________________
    Filed 5 Year Chapter 13: April 2002
    Early Buy-Out: April 2006
    Discharge: August 2006

    "A credit card is a snake in your pocket"

    Comment


    • #3
      If you've searched the forums, you've seen my saga, so I won't repost it. I too may be looking for a job soon, something I'm not looking forward to.

      One thing I'm trying to get up the nerve to do is start asking for advice from people who have not filed BK as the person making hiring decisions probably has not filed BK (thinking statistically). I also look for forums that give advice on how to deal with other negative information in one's background when job hunting. There's a lot of discussion of financial problems on forums for people seeking military or federal governent jobs, so look at that also (not sure if posting links is against forum rules, so I'll leave it to you to find via google).

      One of my other problems is that few people know I filed (I told one friend), and the folks I know at the last job search may know. I've realized that the job search also brings up concern about my BK becoming known to friends and family, and being judged by them (such as if i network my way to an offer). For me, if I ever get to the stage where I can freely tell friends, family, and anyone who asks about my BK, it won't be a problem anymore (I'm not there yet, not by a longshot). Is this an issue for you? I can think of ways to turn my BK into a strength, but don't have the guts to do it (for example, I just found out that the BK court in my region has financial education programs for high school students, I could be a guest speaker as to the example of seemingly successful people who have were so finaicially naive that they ended up in BK when bad luck hit).

      Good luck, and please update.

      Comment


      • #4
        In today's economy and with job searches and background/credit searches, a bankruptcy on one's public record may not be much of a problem with most companies seeking someone with the qualifications, experience, etc. that one may have. A bankruptcy on public records is there permanently and can be found 20 years from now. It's there and will haunt you forever so one needs to learn to get over it or deal with it if it should ever arise again in the future with a background check. The main thing is never to lie about it - if you are asked on paperwork or applications in the future whether or not you have "ever" filed bankruptcy, you need to state "yes" because it is on public records permanently.
        _________________________________________
        Filed 5 Year Chapter 13: April 2002
        Early Buy-Out: April 2006
        Discharge: August 2006

        "A credit card is a snake in your pocket"

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Flamingo View Post
          In today's economy and with job searches and background/credit searches, a bankruptcy on one's public record may not be much of a problem with most companies seeking someone with the qualifications, experience, etc. that one may have. A bankruptcy on public records is there permanently and can be found 20 years from now. It's there and will haunt you forever so one needs to learn to get over it or deal with it if it should ever arise again in the future with a background check. The main thing is never to lie about it - if you are asked on paperwork or applications in the future whether or not you have "ever" filed bankruptcy, you need to state "yes" because it is on public records permanently.
          indeed, i have seen many employment application ask whether you have had a bankruptcy or not and to state the date. however, i have seen just as many not ask.

          it really depends on what type of job you have. if i'm a paralegal applying to a firm that handles bankruptcy...well then...i can most likely put my bankruptcy down in my "experience" column....just kidding....however....honestly is always the BEST policy.

          in today economic environment i think bankruptcy is not quite as uncommon, however, many still have a stigma associated with even the mere suggestion of filing a bk.

          personally, i would mention my plight at the interview as flamingo suggests but only after you have built up your experience etc.
          8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! http://www.bkforum.com/blog.php?32727-tobee43 and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK http://www.bkforum.com/group.php?groupid=9

          Comment


          • #6
            What I (and I think the OP) and I are trying to say is that we have never lied about BK. When I had my job application debacle, I filled out a lengthy background check form - there was no question asking whether I had ever filed BK. If there had been such a question, I would have answered it honestly.

            The problem is when the question "have you ever filed bankruptcy" is not asked, leaving the candidate to decide when/if to bring it up. In my case I alluded to past financial problems and was told "all was fine," so i did not specifically announce that past problems included BK. Well, it was apparently a problem for the president of the company, who happened to read about it in a public records report during my interview.

            Other posters on this forum have reported that they were not asked and never volunteered information about a BK and nevertheless got the job, so it's tough to know what to do in this situation. Ideally companies would indicate what the hiring criteria is with respect to credit, so if its an issue a candidate knows to explain it, and if its not, the candidate won't appear to be offering unwanted information.

            I'm finding the comments about "honesty" and "don't lie" to be a bit off-putting, if the company doesn't ask about something, its not dishonest or a lie not to bring it up. In my case I had said that I would answer any questions they had about my background - no one asked. I don't even think it qualifies as "lie by ommission" as I assumed they knew about it from public records and it wasn't an issue.
            Last edited by meateater; 10-03-2010, 10:20 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by meateater View Post
              What I (and I think the OP) and I are trying to say is that we have never lied about BK. When I had my job application debacle, I filled out a lengthy background check form - there was no question asking whether I had ever filed BK. If there had been such a question, I would have answered it honestly.

              The problem is when the question "have you ever filed bankruptcy" is not asked, leaving the candidate to decide when/if to bring it up. In my case I alluded to past financial problems and was told "all was fine," so i did not specifically announce that past problems included BK. Well, it was apparently a problem for the president of the company, who happened to read about it in a public records report during my interview.

              Other posters on this forum have reported that they were not asked and never volunteered information about a BK and nevertheless got the job, so it's tough to know what to do in this situation. Ideally companies would indicate what the hiring criteria is with respect to credit, so if its an issue a candidate knows to explain it, and if its not, the candidate won't appear to be offering unwanted information.

              I'm finding the comments about "honesty" and "don't lie" to be a bit off-putting, if the company doesn't ask about something, its not dishonest or a lie not to bring it up. In my case I had said that I would answer any questions they had about my background - no one asked. I don't even think it qualifies as "lie by ommission" as I assumed they knew about it from public records and it wasn't an issue.
              yes, good point...."don't ask ...don't tell"....

              you didn't lie because you were not asked....it's like volunteering...yes, i have 6 kids and a lousy husband or wife.....

              i NEVER spoke that i even had children during any interview...and actually at one place i worked for over 7 years never even knew i had children. i didn't lie...i just never mentioned it. people find that odd...i find the less someone knows about you, the less they have to hurt you.

              call me paranoid....LOl!!
              Last edited by tobee43; 10-03-2010, 10:48 AM. Reason: typos r me
              8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! http://www.bkforum.com/blog.php?32727-tobee43 and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK http://www.bkforum.com/group.php?groupid=9

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Flamingo View Post
                What you need to do is be open and honest about your situation to get your foot in the door. The time to do this is at your interview, after you promote yourself and your skills, experience and when you are asked if there are any questions. Get it out, be honest and explain why. They will find out anyway but they don't know the "why." They may or may not care. Remember, as I stated above, it's "Business." If they like you, your skills and experience, they will find a way to get around any bad credit or bankruptcy hurdle. Best of luck to you...
                Flamingo, Tobee43 and Meateater, I respect your input greatly, thank you. I already had a great interview with the team and have been verbally told that a written offer is soon to follow, but I did not use the opportunity to explain my BK. They like me and my experience a lot. I see my only hurdle is the BK, as I had great credit before and after my BK, I think I was in the 750's the day I filed. Nonetheless, I have a BK and I have to "sell" it as a positive.

                My problem is that I will soon be at a point where I will have to tell someone, either HR or the President, I haven't decided who, but I believe the President. I do have copies of my credit report from just before I filed and they clearly show no bad financial history prior to my BK, no lates, liens or judgements. My other selling point is that medical bills put me over the edge and I was getting closer to not being able to protect my family. My decision was a tough business decision made to protect my family, as no deals could be made with the hospital except $800 a month for 2 years....I just didn't have the money without losing my house.

                I know without a doubt, that if the BK were not there, it would be a slam dunk, I just have to figure out how and who to sell the facts behind my BK and at the same time try to eliminate any risk the company may see.
                Last edited by dspii; 10-03-2010, 12:09 PM. Reason: brain freeze, I was eating an icepop.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by dspii View Post
                  Flamingo, Tobee43 and Meateater, I respect your input greatly, thank you. I already had a great interview with the team and have been verbally told that a written offer is soon to follow, but I did not use the opportunity to explain my BK. They like me and my experience a lot. I see my only hurdle is the BK, as I had great credit before and after my BK, I think I was in the 750's the day I filed. Nonetheless, I have a BK and I have to "sell" it as a positive.

                  My problem is that I will soon be at a point where I will have to tell someone, either HR or the President, I haven't decided who, but I believe the President. I do have copies of my credit report from just before I filed and they clearly show no bad financial history prior to my BK, no lates, liens or judgements. My other selling point is that medical bills put me over the edge and I was getting closer to not being able to protect my family. My decision was a tough business decision made to protect my family, as no deals could be made with the hospital except $800 a month for 2 years....I just didn't have the money without losing my house.

                  I know without a doubt, that if the BK were not there, it would be a slam dunk, I just have to figure out how and who to sell the facts behind my BK and at the same time try to eliminate any risk the company may see.
                  well, i wish you the best, however you decide to handle this.

                  i do know there are a couple of us in the field we are in, must really tell our potential employers. however, many do not.

                  i think it's just your most likely so basically honest and it does reflect your good character that you just don't want to start your new life feeling as though you are hiding something. it just goes to show how honest you are.

                  i really hope you get this job...you deserve it!! i'll be thinking about you!! so let us know as soon as you get the word!
                  8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! http://www.bkforum.com/blog.php?32727-tobee43 and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK http://www.bkforum.com/group.php?groupid=9

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Dspii,

                    Do you personally know the president or anyone in the company? If you know the president, I'd go with telling him/her. If you don't know the president, I'd consider contacting HR first.

                    I would not have mentioned it during the team interview, I think you're at the right time to be bringing it up. Do you have any information about how they conduct the background check? If you can identify the person who handles it (perhaps by asking HR), you might be able to explain the situation directly to that person and ask what information the company would want (that's what I tried to do last time, I said I needed to speak to the person conducting the background check about an issue, but was told by the secretary who answered the phone that it had already been done and come back "clean.") I wrote myself a script for this conversation, if you don't talk about your BK with anyone, I'd recommend writing down what you want to say and practicing it out loud, if you've got someone to discuss this with, get some feedback on what you plan to say, as part of the battle is not sounding like you think its a dealbreaker or like your really uncomfortable with the subject.

                    If you;ve got a few days, I'd also consider posing the question about who and when to tell on a general job search forum. Most everyone here has a personal connection to BK, so our views could be different than those folks with no such connection and someone might suggest a totally different approach.

                    But, we're probably not in the same industry, so what I might do might not work for you. Best of luck!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I had dinner with the President and interviewed with him the following day. I do not know anyone personally at the company, but I did interview with damn near everyone in the building. The background check includes SS verification, credit and background...sounds like a thorough check I'm sure. I am 100% positive it will be seen, but not sure the weight it will pull. I searched the companies to try and find out the checks, but nothing is displayed. This is what it says...

                      Once accepted, we will send you an offer letter (the offer is contingent upon us receiving an acceptable Motor Vehicle Record check, background check, credit report, SSN Verification, etc.)

                      Not sure the definition of acceptable, but I am squeaky clean except for the BK. Thanks for all your help and wishes, I'll update when I hear something.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Since the president personally knows you (maybe not well, but you're more than a pile of papers in a folder), that's the person with whom I'd broach the subject of potential issues in your background. The president may want to hear the details, or may tell you to take it up with HR, but at least you'll know that the president won't be taken by surprise if / when it comes up.

                        Good luck!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tobee43 View Post
                          yes, good point...."don't ask ...don't tell"....

                          you didn't lie because you were not asked....it's like volunteering...yes, i have 6 kids and a lousy husband or wife.....

                          i NEVER spoke that i even had children during any interview...and actually at one place i worked for over 7 years never even knew i had children. i didn't lie...i just never mentioned it. people find that odd...i find the less someone knows about you, the less they have to hurt you.

                          call me paranoid....LOl!!
                          They wouuldn't have asked you either as it is a discriminatory question...they won't ask if you are married, have kids, your race, religion, etc., etc. However, if you volunteer it, you are just giving them information they cannot ask from you.
                          _________________________________________
                          Filed 5 Year Chapter 13: April 2002
                          Early Buy-Out: April 2006
                          Discharge: August 2006

                          "A credit card is a snake in your pocket"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            To the OP...I cannot divulge to you who I work for or what I actually do but I will advise you I do work closely with corporate HR depts. and have many corporate HR contacts. Your BK won't matter a bit if they want you on their team and like your experience and background; what might matter is their corporate policy if there is something on hand as to hiring people with BK or bad credit. What might hurt you is your not speaking up about your situation and how much you want the job but are terrified the BK will hold you back from working with that company. If you sell yourself properly and can show all that is a thing of the past and you are determined to do your best for your boss(es) and the company, all that works in your favor. As much as I know you don't like it, the ball is in your court and you will have to weigh out/determine what would work for you to get this position. As much as people don't want to admit it, having a BK on one's records can be a problem in getting a job and getting credit and all that is information that is well known prior to one filing for bankruptcy. It's tough to deal with when it actually happens.
                            _________________________________________
                            Filed 5 Year Chapter 13: April 2002
                            Early Buy-Out: April 2006
                            Discharge: August 2006

                            "A credit card is a snake in your pocket"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Being in the HR world, I can tell you, and I know this does not address your concerns but in the coming months and years, companies are going to be hard pressed to find anyone with good credit/no bk. I say that within a few-10 years, there will be a law made that you cannot discriminate based on race, religion, age, sexual orientation or CREDIT! Seriously...It is coming. Pretty soon, the credit challenged will be a protected class of people. Mark my words

                              And then maybe my insurance rates will go down??
                              Filed Chapter 7 October 5, 2010 -341 held Nov. 8, 2010- Report of No Distribution Nov. 12th, 2010- Discharged 1-10-2011 Closed 1-28-2011

                              Comment

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