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Can an employer ask you about bankruptcy?

You're unemployed, and you're thinking about declaring bankruptcy. Without a job, it's simply become impossible to pay off what you owe. You're not sure what else to do to get out of debt.

At the same time, you've not given up on ever being employed again. You fully plan to keep looking for a new job. When you go in for an interview, can your prospective employer ask you about your financial history? Would bankruptcy on your record be a red flag?

Though many people do worry about this, there's really no reason. Employers are not allowed to dig into certain personal background issues, and they can't ask you if you've filed for bankruptcy or if you're in the process of doing so at the time. They can't ask if your wages were being garnished at your last job.

Essentially, experts note that the main way it comes up is when people volunteer the information. For instance, the employer may ask you why you want the job. Without thinking, you may honestly just say that you've been unemployed, you can't pay the bills and you've had to declare bankruptcy as a result.

The key, though, is to know that you have certain rights and interviewers have certain legal obligations. There's no reason that you can't be a productive employee if you've declared bankruptcy in the past, and it does not have to hinder your job search at all.

As you go through the bankruptcy process, it's wise to look into all of the details carefully. The more you know about how the process works and how it impacts your future, the more you can do to craft a positive financial position moving forward.

Source: AOL, "Job Searching After Bankruptcy," Kaitlin Madden, accessed April 28, 2017

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