Welcome Guest! To enable all features please Login or Register.

Notification

Icon
Error

Security Clearance

A security clearance is a status granted to individuals allowing them access to classified information. Those trying to get a clearance may have questions such as how does one go about attaining a clearance? And, what are the different levels? As well as other questions. This area will allow those that have clearances offer advice and suggestions to those inquiring about clearances or upgrading their clearances.

To read today's top news stories on federal employee pay, benefits, retirement, job rights and other workplace issues visit FederalDaily.com.

Options
Go to last post Go to first unread
huskerfan0827  
#1 Posted : Thursday, July 22, 2010 11:43:48 AM(UTC)
huskerfan0827

Rank: Rookie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 6/29/2010(UTC)
Posts: 44

Due to a divorce and loss of a fantastic paying job at a high level of responsibility, I had no choice but to file bankruptcy (two years ago), lost my house to foreclosure (attempted working it out, all creditors refused any offer)....yet if I had a good paying position it would have mitigated all these issues.
 
Are you saying that because of filing a bankruptcy that my tentative job offer may be rescinded? How on earth does filing a bankruptcy because of issues you tried to resolve have any bearing on you being trusted in a "public" position.
 
I currently work for one of the big 3 banks and I see people committing fraud through the US Treasury on a daily basis. Interesting how that information is not enough to have most of the people in this industry fired for stealing. If you file a bankruptcy of have some other adverse financial  situation, it is grounds for denying you government employment?
 
It is pathetic what has happened to this once great country.
observer  
#2 Posted : Thursday, July 22, 2010 12:58:38 PM(UTC)
observer

Rank: Groupie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 3/26/2010(UTC)
Posts: 98

If you have an adverse financial situation there is always a possibility that someone can use it against you. They could potentially use your adverse situation to get you to violate the public trust.

At least that's my take on it.

huskerfan0827  
#3 Posted : Friday, July 23, 2010 1:07:03 AM(UTC)
huskerfan0827

Rank: Rookie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 6/29/2010(UTC)
Posts: 44

If they don't know about the adverse financial situation---(believe it or not, I have access to more confidential information than you could ever possibly imagine.  Furthermore I have been in trusted situations/positions for nearly 17 years now and even with my bankruptcy, no one has ever caused me to not to be trusted or to violate that for any reason), so why would that change now?! Again the bankruptcy has nothing to do with someone not being able to trust you. Prior to having to file this bankruptcy (again due to a job loss and divorce)  I had a perfect credit record and after filing it I have rebuilt myself , even with having less than half of what I used to make to live on, and am almost back to an 830 FICO score (its only been two years).

Its pathetic that you can't be more than a credit score to someone these days.....WOW~!
 
jhennessey  
#4 Posted : Friday, July 23, 2010 1:37:56 AM(UTC)
jhennessey

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 11/10/2009(UTC)
Posts: 1,087

Dear huskerfan0827,
 
 
Below is some informatioin related to debt, finances & bankruptcies.
 
As you can read, many times a bankruptcy can be viewed in a positive light.
 
However, many times how the applicant came to claim bankruptcy in the first place (is debt from family issues, medical reasons, death, divorce, job loss, etc., vice credit cards, cruise ships, gambling, high-end purchases, shopping, etc) and also what has happened since that bankruptcy (same old bad money habits returned), etc., can be factored.
 
Depending on the details of each case, bankruptcy need-not cause a denial (fair enough).
 
I've run many (many) cases involving bankruptcy and can state that many folks get cleared.
 
However, the govt does require details (again fair enough) on what happened & why.
 
True case: had a (single) gentleman (call him Joe-Cool) making a high 6-figure salary, living high, weekly trips to Atlantic City, 2 luxury cars (leased), a womanizer, designer clothes, jewelry, absolutely no responsiblities other than to himself, my neice had more money in the bank than him, on & on. Joe filed forbankruptcy.
 
True case: a solid family man (call him Tony), making about 45K salary, 4 young children, small home with a small mortage, had 2 cars, sold 1 car, he took the bus, wife needed car for kids, he brought lunch from home, wore old, but clean clothes, many responsiblities, including his 3 year old daughter, who had cancer, insurance companies wouldn't pay much of her medical bills.
Tony filed for bankruptcy. Oh, I fogot, Tony took a second job at night & on weekends, working at a local home improvement center. Now he works 80 + hours a week.
 
Do not think that Investigators or Adjudicators, don't see the (real) world. We do. And it feels great sometimes when we do our jobs.
 
One of these gentlemen got his clearance. Care to guess ?
 
Oh and his daughter is doing good.
 
 
 
FINANCIAL CONSIDERATIONS—DELINQUENT DEBT

A sampling of Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals (DOHA) security clearance hearings from 2007 showed that about 50 percent of clearance denials involved “Financial Considerations.”  This was two times greater than the next most frequently listed issue for clearance denial.*

Guideline F: Financial Considerations is one of 13 criteria listed in the Adjudicative Guidelines For Determining Eligibility For Access To Classified Information.  Excessive indebtedness increases the temptation to commit unethical or illegal acts in order to obtain funds to pay off the debts.  Most Americans who betrayed their country did it for financial gain—about half were motivated by a real or perceived urgent need for money and about half by personal greed.

Aside from compulsive/addictive behavior, deceptive/illegal financial practices, and unexplained affluence, the remaining potentially disqualifying conditions detailed in Guideline F can be boiled down to one security concern—delinquent debt.  High debt to income ratio and excessive indebtedness are listed as a potentially disqualifying condition, but this rarely comes into play absent any past or present delinquent debt or obvious signs of unexplained income.  Low credit scores are not listed as a potential disqualifying condition, because factors unrelated to debt affect credit scores.

DELINQUENT DEBT

Delinquent debt is by far the most common financial concern.  In adjudicating these cases the following factors are taken into consideration:

• Cause of debt
• Response to debt
• Amount of debt

Cause of debt is generally more important than the amount of debt, because it reveals more about a person’s reliability, trustworthiness, and judgment.  Of people who seek credit counseling, roughly 50 percent are due to irresponsibility.  If the debt was caused by irresponsibility (including reckless behavior) that is likely to continue, the problem is magnified.  If the debt occurred due to situations beyond the applicant’s control and the applicant is handling the debt in a reasonable manner (including bankruptcy or debt consolidation), the significance of the problem is substantially reduced. 

Response to debt is evaluated by the things people do (or don’t do) about delinquent debt. How people deal with debt is often a decisive consideration. Those who ignore their financial responsibilities may also ignore their responsibility to safeguard classified information.  Classic indicators of irresponsibility and unethical behavior are:

• Changing addresses without notifying creditors
• Failure to take reasonable measures to pay or reduce debts
• Knowingly issuing bad checks
• Increased credit card use immediately before filing for bankruptcy

The words, “bankruptcy” and “credit counseling” do not appear anywhere in the Adjudicative Guidelines.  This is because both bankruptcy and credit counseling can be considered positive efforts to get one’s finances under control.  What is important is the underlying reason for the bankruptcy or credit counseling.

Amount of debt focuses primarily on the delinquent amount, but as previously mentioned total debt, if it appears excessive, may also be taken into consideration.  Significant delinquent debt is a security concern.  For total debt there is a rule of thumb used by credit counselors.  If an individual’s minimum monthly payments for consumer credit (excluding credit cards that are paid in full at the end of each billing cycle and mortgages on primary homes) totals more than 20 percent of monthly take-home pay, there is a financial problem. This does not apply to unmarried military personnel who live in barracks and eat in mess halls and others who are similarly situated.  According to Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Federal Investigative Notice No. 06-07, OPM does not automatically expand investigations for financial issues, unless:

• Credit report reflects current aggregate delinquent debt totaling $3,500 or
• Bankruptcy within the past 2 years or
• Bankruptcy within the past 3 to 5 years with evidence of current credit problems.

This does not mean that delinquent debt totaling less than $3,500 is not significant, but it does suggest that, absent any aggravating circumstances or other security issues, the government is not overly concerned about small amounts of delinquent debt.  OPM considers bankruptcy only as a trigger for further inquiry.

Jim Hennessey<br />Leesburg, VA<br />Federal Background Investigator (Ret.)<br />Security Clearance Consultant
huskerfan0827  
#5 Posted : Friday, July 23, 2010 6:08:40 AM(UTC)
huskerfan0827

Rank: Rookie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 6/29/2010(UTC)
Posts: 44

Thank you Mr. Hennessey!
 
That was most helpful to see that there is information out there and that the investigator looks at the whole picture. I can fully explain everything that I tried prior to filing bankruptcy and it was not the situation of ridiculous and frivolous spending.  About 6 weeks after my divorce, I was laid off from near a six-figure salary (no severance included)  for a high tech firm, I was left the house (without a good income and spousal support, it was too much), student loans from my Master's Degree (which I have never defaulted on, so that's a plus). After that job loss, employment in my current city was near impossible, but I took whatever I could find, temp, minimum wage, etc for nearly two years. Then finally in August of 2008, the only full-time job I could find pays less than 36K.....at least its been steady......prior to that, I tried selling the home, making partial mortage payments (I tried refinancing as well, but was denied due to significant loss of income), going through credit counseling (CCC's advice was "you need to file bankruptcy) and as you know a Master's Degree without any assistance other than student loans is not cheap. The only thing I did that might have been out of the ordinary was take a few trips to try and secure another well paying position to no avail, so this shouldn't be an issue. It will be exactly two years in August, from the discharge of the BK and no issues paying any bills since then! Just went through a rough stretch due to the economy......hopefully this info and Mr. Hennessey helps any of you who have similar questions.
 
I feel much better about the whole investigation and will let you know what happens. Thank you Mr. Hennessey for all you do for those of us trying to secure government positions.
jhennessey  
#6 Posted : Friday, July 23, 2010 6:46:37 AM(UTC)
jhennessey

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 11/10/2009(UTC)
Posts: 1,087

Dear huskerfan0827,
 
I am so happy to see that you have done everything one should do in this situation.
 
When field agents have cases such as what you have described yourself, they would work with that applicant to insure that his/her story was included in their reports, these report are then sent straight to the adjudicator.
 
Everyone has their story.
 
And it should be told.
 
What happened to these folks like yourself (good folks too) has to be told, in our reports, the very same reports that adjudicators need to make their call (decision).
 
Field agents & adjudicators are just like yourself, we work, we have responsiblities, family matters, issues, real-life situations that need our attentions & time, and yes, we also have set-backs and such.
 
That is why it is of upmost importance that the adjudicator know the story & the situation.
 
I can see you are taking this process seriously, that is good.
 
Adjudicators like it when folks acknowledge they have a situation, an issue (if you allow me), and then take corrective action(s) to resolve or try to deal with it.  
 
You even went to CCC (Consumer Credit Counseling), a wonderful group that really helps folks and one thing adjudicators look for.
 
You seem to do everything one has to or must do to fix their situation.
 
Good.
 
Best to you.
 
 
Jim Hennessey<br />Leesburg, VA<br />Federal Background Investigator (Ret.)<br />Security Clearance Consultant
ic0n88  
#7 Posted : Thursday, July 29, 2010 1:42:23 AM(UTC)
ic0n88

Rank: Newbie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 7/22/2010(UTC)
Posts: 6

Mr. Hennessy,

I know you're an expert of this forum. I was just wondering if i still have a chance to be eligible for  a Public Trust Clearance position after I recently filed chapter 7 bankruptcy last month.  Your advise is greatly appreciated.

Thanks
ic0n
 

jhennessey  
#8 Posted : Friday, July 30, 2010 2:46:47 AM(UTC)
jhennessey

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 11/10/2009(UTC)
Posts: 1,087

Dear icOon88,
 
thank you please (blush), but have insights in how the 3-part process (application, background investigation, adjudication) works in the security clearance world.
 
And please folks reading this, take this process serious, devote your time, it is well worth your while.
 
Folks, even with issues, if fully explained properly (mitigated), can mean the difference in obtaining a clearance or not.
 
Your filing for bankruptcy, Chapter 7 (Liquidation) in and of itself may not keep you from obtaining a Public Trust Position (PTP).
 
It's in the details (as usual).
 
How one came to file bankruptcy is looked at (closely), who are the creditors, what happened, why, when, etc., and how the applicant attempted to deal with it.
 
There is a big difference in some debt as opposed to other debt, and in what attempts were made to handled what happened.
 
A person who filed for bankruptcy can mitigate (reasonably explain) what happened, family illness, loss of a job, a death, loss of income, medical issues, a crisis, how financially responsible were they before, and since, etc, on & on.
 
Many details need to be looked at.
 
Additionally, some people ran up debt due to high-end living, trips to Atlantic City, credit cards, cruises, jewelry, womanizing, fancy cars, clothes, on & on. Then go on to repeat this again through-out their lives.
 
In all fairness, because of the limited information provided I really cannot answer (or guess).
 
Too many factors need to be examined.  
Jim Hennessey<br />Leesburg, VA<br />Federal Background Investigator (Ret.)<br />Security Clearance Consultant
Rss Feed  Atom Feed
Users browsing this topic
Guest
Forum Jump  
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.


This page was generated in 0.595 seconds.