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Can Bankruptcy Hurt My Chances of Enlisting in the Military?

Can Bankruptcy Hurt My Chances of Enlisting in the Military?

Quite frankly, bankruptcy is usually a person’s last choice when it comes to debt relief. Even so, filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you pay off your creditors and effectively alleviate your debts. Despite various misconceptions, bankruptcy can be your second chance at financial stability. However, if bankruptcy is in your future, it’s important to commit with your eyes wide open. There are many short and long-term consequences associated with any bankruptcy process. For example, bankruptcy can prevent you from purchasing a home, obtaining new credit, and even enlisting in the United States military.

When eager youths sign up for the military, they often don’t consider that the government will review their financial situation to judge their eligibility. The military tries to avoid hiring anyone with significant debts or a history of bankruptcy filings because they are considered security risks. A person with money troubles is more likely to accept bribes and make poor decisions based on desperation and their personal financial circumstances.

Fortunately, filing for bankruptcy doesn’t automatically eliminate your chances at joining the military. After all, people file bankruptcy due to outstanding medical bills, unemployment, divorce, and other unfortunate circumstances. Filing for bankruptcy due to medical debt is entirely different than simply living beyond your means.

The military may prevent you from enlisting due to the following financial circumstances:

  1. Your credit history
  2. Unpaid loans
  3. Past bankruptcy filings
  4. Unpaid taxes/tax evasion
  5. Overdue alimony
  6. Overdue child support payments
  7. A history of property repossessions
  8. A criminal record for embezzlement or financial misconduct

According to the Department of Defense, “members of the Military Services are expected to pay their just financial obligations in a proper and timely manner.” However, each service branch has its own rules and regulations regarding debt and enlistment. For example, the Air Force refuses to recruit anyone with monthly consumer debts exceeding at least 40% of their anticipated military pay. Luckily, the Air Force makes exceptions when it comes to student loans.

Have Questions? Schedule a Consultation

Filing for bankruptcy is a very personal decision. While it can provide countless opportunities to people, it also has some inevitable drawbacks that you need to be aware of. It’s important to discuss your financial situation with a lawyer before taking the plunge. At Bach Law Offices, our Northbrook bankruptcy attorneys can review your case and thoroughly explain the various ways Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 can impact your life.

Contact Bach Law Offices at (847) 448-0025 to schedule a consultation.

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