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Can I lose my job because of bankruptcy?

Many individuals worry that bankruptcy may ruin their professional lives as well as their personal lives. While it is true that bankruptcy often carries some social stigma, the law does offer some important protections to debtors when it comes to the workplace. If you have concerns about your bankruptcy's effect on your career, the law is written in your favor.

In broad strokes, it is not lawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee or job applicant because of a bankruptcy. Not only does this protection extend to those who file for bankruptcy and complete the process, the protection extends to those who attempt, but do not complete a bankruptcy procedure. If you worry that your bankruptcy may keep you from re-entering the workplace or moving ahead in your career, the law says otherwise.

Bankruptcy laws are also a matter of federal law, which grants a debtor some leverage even when it comes to fighting state laws and institutions. For instance, one interesting court precedent involves a debtor who had fines from an unpaid court judgement discharged. A supreme court ruling stated that the lower court could not deny the man a driver's license because of the unpaid fines after the discharge.

There is no denying that bankruptcy is often a difficult and personally stressful process. However, with proper legal guidance, and knowledge of the rights you have under the law, bankruptcy can truly set you free to create a fresh start and rebuild your life. Do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced attorney who understands how to protect your rights and privileges through the strength of the law.

Source: Findlaw, "Bankruptcy and Discrimination," accessed May 25, 2017

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