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should I tell potential employer?

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  • should I tell potential employer?

    I filed Chap 7 and was discharged a few months ago. Since then I started a job search and was formally offered a new job this week. By formally I mean they emailed me the offer letter. The letter states there will be a background check.

    My questions is this - do I tell them about the bankruptcy? Do I tell my future boss (who extended the offer) or the HR lady who is supposed to follow up about the background check? How much information do I give them about it?

    From what I've read it would be hard for them to rescind the job offer since it's formal and in writing and there will be no other negative marks on my background check. I would be mostly just embarrassed if they found out since it's a high level consulting firm with lots of professionals working there.

    What are your thoughts?

    Thanks in advance...

  • #2
    I had a similar problem involving a job which I posted about before. If I were in your position, I'd call the HR person and ask if they need additional information about the BK (by phrasing it that way, your not suggesting its a deal killer, only that you thought they might want more information because its unusual). BK will turn up in a public records check, they will find out about it. Write yourself a script before you call.

    When I was in the midst of almost getting a job, I made a vague reference to financial issues to a personal contact at the company and to the person scheduling the interview, I was told everything was fine. When I got to what was supposed to be the final interview, it became clear that the president was flipping through a public records report and learning about my BK for the first time. Embarrassing? Yes. More embarrassing, wondering if the president thought I was dishonest for not bringing it up more directly. I didn't get the job, and got dropped like a hot potatoe.

    You've got the offer in writing, so be proactive in terms of getting through the background check. The reason this is hard is because it is embarrassing. But, since HR will find out, you might as well present it as positively as possible. Hopefully HR will be a buffer and no one else will need to find out. If you tell the boss, boss will need to tell HR, but HR may not need to tell boss. And, HR should know the law better.

    Good luck, and please post what happens (I may need to look for a job soon).


    • #3
      I just had this same situation, which I posted under the "before discharge" section. I got a written job offer on Friday and I had to give permission for a background check. It also mentioned credit check, but did not say that the offer was contigent on a credit check, only a background check.

      I wanted to be upfront about my situation, so I decided to call HR instead of my boss. HR would know best if having a bk would be an issue. Plus I would prefer it if my boss didn't know. I told them that I had stellar credit all of my life, but like so many others the economy hit me hard, I lost my job and my credit took a hit. She agreed that it has been a difficult time for so many people, but not to worry as they don't check credit. At this point I didn't see any point in bringing up the bk, but I did feel better after speaking with her.

      I dropped off my paperwork to the local office on Monday and have yet to hear anything. HR is on the east coast, and I'm not, so I have to allow time for them to get the paperwork and run a check. Hopefully I will hear something by Friday. It's hard to wait, but I think it will work out. I'll post an update as soon as I know for sure.

      I hope the job works out well for you and that the bk isn't an issue. If it makes you feel better to say something upfront, then no harm. Since they will most likely find out about the bk anyway it may be the best approach. Whatever you decide to do, good luck. Keep us posted.
      Filed Chapter 7 on July 30, 2010
      341 scheduled for August 26, 2010 - Done! - Report of No Distribution
      Discharged!!! - November 15, 2010


      • #4
        I'm going through this right now. The job I am hoping to get is basically a customer service job in the government. I have made it to the final stage, and when I went for my background investigation session this week, they let us know that they are hiring 200 and have the field narrowed down to 300 candidates. They do an FBI background check, so I'm sure the bankruptcy will show up. One of the questions asked on the investigation form is if you have any delinquent debt. I went ahead and disclosed the bankruptcy situation, explaining everything about how this was due to medical issues that arose last year. They told us it is better if there is any doubt as to anything questionable to go ahead and list it on that form - otherwise, if something comes up later and we lied (or failed to disclose) about the situation, it could be grounds for termination.
        Filed: 6/30/2010
        341: 7/26/2010
        Discharged: 10/6/2010


        • #5
          I don't think you should tell. Bankruptcy is a very personal issue, and unless your job requires you to handle large financial responsibiliies or you are some type of broker, then I think you should not mention it. A company cannot disciminate based on a bankruptcy. I've worked in HR for 9 years.
          I just got a fantastic new job. I received my offer letter and signed off on a background check. I never mentioned the bankruptcy. I start my job on Monday
          8/5/08 - Filed Chapter 7
          9/10/08 - 341 Meeting - It went great
          11/10/08 - Last day for Objections
          11/12/08 - Discharged & Closed!


          • #6
            I just got a job and they did a background check. It was a criminal background check. You might want to find out what kind of background check they do.


            • #7
              Keep in mind, they cannot deny you employment for having a BK. I would not disclose. I am in the middle of my BA in HRM.

              Unless you are handling cash, they shouldn't even do one.
              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


              • #8
                They didn't do a credit check, only a criminal background. I was still anxious since the paperwork I had to sign talked all about the Fair Credit Reporting act. So, I decided to call my future boss, just to be a little upfront. All I did was say "I don't want you to be surprised and wanted to be honest about something that may come back on my background"....and the new boss interrupted me. He said that unless it was a major criminal offense, he would tell HR that I had told him about it and it wouldn't be an issue. I never mentioned credit, bk or anything. He said that since I had the honesty to call and tell him, he wouldn't think to hold it against me. I start the new gig on Monday.

                Good luck to everyone else!


                • #9
                  That is awesome! Good for you
                  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


                  • #10
                    Just to update, I was offered a new job and I submitted my paperwork 10 days ago. I just found out that I’m officially hired! After speaking with HR and finding out that they don’t do credit checks, I was still very concerned about it and especially given that it was taking so long. It was a difficult 10 days. I found out the delay was due to a problem with getting my paperwork from the local office to HR in Florida. Anyway, it is good to know that getting a new job is very possible with a bk. Good luck to those of you seeking new jobs.
                    Filed Chapter 7 on July 30, 2010
                    341 scheduled for August 26, 2010 - Done! - Report of No Distribution
                    Discharged!!! - November 15, 2010


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