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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.

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Mandrew  
#1 Posted : Friday, March 30, 2012 8:12:23 AM(UTC)
Mandrew

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Joined: 8/16/2011(UTC)
Posts: 37



I have
been a federal employee for 9 years and am a disabled veteran. During that
time, my secret clearance has been continually adjudicated with financial
concerns. Yearly I receive requests for additional information regarding my
financial situation. In 2007 I purchased a home and received a mortgage from
Bank of America. Like many people B of A has given me the run around, tried to
foreclose while my loan was current and a host of other questionable
activities. In November 2011, solely to save my home from B of A's Illegal
foreclosure practices, I claimed Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. I immediately submitted
my BK paperwork to WHS. Yesterday I received a Statement of Reason to Revoke my
clearance. I understand that I have an opportunity to rebut this statement. I
am wondering if anyone has any insight into the process. My only issues with my
clearance are financial problems. I have never been arrested, done drugs or had
any other issues that would cause a problem with my clearance. I have been a
model employee for 9 years and have won multiple awards for initiative and
exemplary behavior. How long does this process take? What is the process should
they decide to revoke my clearance. What are my options should my clearance be
revoked? Is it likely or at all possible that I will be allowed to keep my clearance?


Any assistance that anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated.


F/A Lisa  
#2 Posted : Friday, March 30, 2012 11:57:00 PM(UTC)
F/A Lisa

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If you require the clearance for your job then you will probably be terminated unless you can be placed in a position that does not need to be cleared. Yearly review of your finances means you were probably given letters of warning. Your continuous financial problems can very well get your clearance revoked. It's a pattern of irresponsibility. I've seen it happen a lot. You were warned and now you have filed bankruptcy, you better start looking for another job.
trosas9  
#3 Posted : Sunday, April 01, 2012 6:50:02 AM(UTC)
trosas9

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I differ from that. I'm currently a DOD Police officer for the Navy and I have a partner that has a really bad background and he got a "SECRET" Clearence. Just to name a few of his issues,

1. He has been arrested for posssion of Marijuana.

2. DUI

3. Horrible Credit. Can't even get a loan for a car.

How he got a Secret Clearence is beyond me. From what I've seen it's all who you know and if your Supervisor will vouch for you.

 

 

F/A Lisa  
#4 Posted : Sunday, April 01, 2012 11:08:55 PM(UTC)
F/A Lisa

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Most supervisors are not in contact with adjudicators and the issues that your partner had probably occurred a long time ago. Credit has to be very bad to get denied on an initial clearance usually you will be given a letter of warning that your credit will be reviewed in a year and further issues can get your clearance revoked. Obviously, that is the position the OP was in for years. I also will say I used to work in an adjudication office and I recall after two such letters were issued, there positions being saved, because one of the person's supervisor was tight with the director of the agency. The Security supervisor was pissed he had to back off as anyone else would have been gone. Two years later the director retired and the security supervisor revoked the guy's clearance as he was not paying anything. The other individual kept hers as she had made improvements.
Mandrew  
#5 Posted : Monday, April 02, 2012 8:44:06 AM(UTC)
Mandrew

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I will submit my rebuttal with explanation. My bankruptcy is a Chapter 13 with 100% payback on all debt so its not like I am walking away from anything. If they continue to try to pull my clearance I will get an attorney and fight it. My service record has been excellent, the only reason I had to claim BK was because Bank of America fraudulently tried to foreclose on my home. I would think that the adjuducators would take into account the crazy economic climate and all of the BS that these mortgage holders have been pulling.
birdonamission  
#6 Posted : Monday, April 02, 2012 8:58:48 AM(UTC)
birdonamission

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Mandrew wrote:


I will submit my rebuttal with explanation. My bankruptcy is a Chapter 13 with 100% payback on all debt so its not like I am walking away from anything. If they continue to try to pull my clearance I will get an attorney and fight it. My service record has been excellent, the only reason I had to claim BK was because Bank of America fraudulently tried to foreclose on my home. I would think that the adjuducators would take into account the crazy economic climate and all of the BS that these mortgage holders have been pulling.

I'm just curious:  if BofA fraudently tried to foreclose on your home, did you use an attorney (like the one you're planning on getting to put up a fight should your clearance get pulled) to sue BofA for perpetrating a fraud that has driven you to bankruptcy?

Why should they get away with FRAUD and damage you like that?


birdonamission2012-04-03 11:51:03
Mandrew  
#7 Posted : Monday, April 02, 2012 9:18:54 AM(UTC)
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I have consulted an attorney and was advised that BofA would outgun me in this case. I am, however in contact with a law firm that is currently gathering people for a class action lawsuit against BofA. So in answer to your question, it is in the works.
F/A Lisa  
#8 Posted : Monday, April 02, 2012 9:20:38 PM(UTC)
F/A Lisa

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Nope. They are not taking the current financial climate into consideration when it comes to foreclosures. Their position is you knew what you were getting into when you signed for your mortgage. Mitigating circumstances are lost jobs, unexpected medical.debts, etc.   You have to be able to show proof of that though. You have shown financial irresponsibility for years, now you are in a foreclosure. If you can tell me that you did not receive letters of warning regarding your credit, my opinion might change. As it is, BoA will be contacted and you can via your bank statements show proof that they have been paid. Your flapping gums will not work and of course you did not pay in cash. So my suggestion is to gather all of your bank statements or debit transactions showing payment and if they just were not cashing the checks (I had a case like that), show your letters to them expressing your concerns. You have to prove your financial sitdduation was worsened from circumstances beyond your control. Signing for a mortgage you later could not afford is within your control. It is doubtful an attorney will be able to help you with a clearance and your stellar record also won't help. You have been on the radar for years and now hadve a foreclosure and bankruptcy. You don't have the right to a clearance. Not trying to be harsh, but realistic. I worked in a adjudication office, a lot of people lost their clearance that way. Best of luck to you.F/A Lisa2012-04-03 05:40:08
jhennessey  
#9 Posted : Tuesday, April 03, 2012 12:23:04 AM(UTC)
jhennessey

Rank: Senior Member

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Posts: 1,087

Hi Mandrew,
 
I agree with F/A Lisa.
 
Try best to square away any outstanding debts, show progress, an attempt, etc.
 
Since you received a SOR (Statement of Reasons) which is usually (usually) notice of (Intent) to deny you access,  get your ducks in order.
Trust me, by the time the Govt has issued a SOR they have their ducks in order.
 
Ignore the "stories" you will "hear" from others about what happened to their friends, neighbors, co-workers, person down the street, etc., in their own personal security clearance matters (how they were denied, kept their clearances, etc..
 
It's has been my experience (and other federal BI's) experiences that people will only tell you what they want you to know, and it is not always very candid nor truthful.
 
Had a case once that my Subject (clearance applicant) was a child molester (caught once, admitted several others), when his clearance was denied he told everyone it was because he stole a bicycle.
 
Due to the Privacy Laws, we (the Investigators had to be silent of the actual reasons) were blamed (he was a very popular guy) for his dismissal.
 
Best to you,   Jim H.
 
Jim Hennessey<br />Leesburg, VA<br />Federal Background Investigator (Ret.)<br />Security Clearance Consultant
Mandrew  
#10 Posted : Tuesday, April 03, 2012 1:19:18 AM(UTC)
Mandrew

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Thanks for the advice. One thing I think may be helpful is that my BK is a Chapter 13 with a 100% repayment. Not trying to skip out on any debt. I will write up a rebuttal and see where it goes. I am also seeking federal employment that doesnt require a clearance and may have to take a pay cut in order to cover myself. Also putting out some civilian applications as well.
Its a scary situation in this economic climate and I am amazed that the government would further contribute to the climate by putting people out of work. I do understand that I am responsible for much of this and just need to weather the storm. regardless of how this plays out, I think its time to find a job without a clearance requirement, let someone better suited (financially) deal with the stress of holding a clearance.
Mandrew  
#11 Posted : Tuesday, April 03, 2012 1:38:57 AM(UTC)
Mandrew

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In the event that I am removed from federal service due to a revoked security clearance, am I eligible for severance pay?
F/A Lisa  
#12 Posted : Tuesday, April 03, 2012 3:33:52 AM(UTC)
F/A Lisa

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Unfortunately, no.
Mandrew  
#13 Posted : Tuesday, April 03, 2012 5:28:54 AM(UTC)
Mandrew

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ClapMandrew2012-04-03 21:13:21
chili.relleno  
#14 Posted : Tuesday, April 03, 2012 6:48:41 AM(UTC)
chili.relleno

Rank: Advisor

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Posts: 180

That's life in the real world dude.

Layoffs with severance are due to things outside the employee's control like budget cuts.  Loss of clearance is termination for cause.


Mandrew  
#15 Posted : Tuesday, April 03, 2012 12:22:22 PM(UTC)
Mandrew

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Posts: 37



Thanks for the input. Wink
 
 
Once I submit my rebuttal how long do I have before they make a determination? I have heard of people going another nine months before its all said and done.
Since I am looking for other employment, in the mean time, What kind of clearances or BI requirements should I avoid? Is it safe to look at positions of a non sensitive nature? What about Public Trust?
This is kinda tough and just trying to get my ducks in a row while trying to cover my bases at the same time. Any constructive info is appreciated.


Mandrew2012-04-03 21:18:08
Mandrew  
#16 Posted : Friday, April 13, 2012 10:47:59 AM(UTC)
Mandrew

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I have had
an interesting thought while pondering this whole SOR issue. It seems (at least
slightly) hypocritical of the government to hold employees to a higher standard
regarding credit history and ability to repay debts than the government itself
is held to. The government has had their credit rating lowered and has
continually misspent and misappropriated funds for a very long time with little
or no accountability. How is it that they can hold a government employee, who has
fallen on hard times, to a higher standard? Seems like hypocrisy to me. Now,
before all you naysayers start to call me out and criticize me for "living
beyond my means," give this some serious thought and you will probably see
what I am trying to convey here. Our government itself has been living beyond its means for a very long time.


YoungFed  
#17 Posted : Friday, April 13, 2012 1:12:03 PM(UTC)
YoungFed

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Mandrew,


Although you make a valid point and it’s defiantly arguable
I don’t think that would hold up to any standard.  I do however wish you the best of luck.  I’m working on a foreclosure myself, but all
my other debts are always paid and never late. 
My foreclosure is due to the fact that BofA wouldn’t modify my loan and
its subprime.  I had to take a job
overseas to pay for it and it has caused a major hardship.  If your situation is similar to this maybe you have a fighting chance for litigation?



Mandrew  
#18 Posted : Saturday, April 14, 2012 8:35:53 AM(UTC)
Mandrew

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Posts: 37

YoungFed,
 My situation with BofA is similar to yours. I did have other credit issues, all of which were being paid but were still considered issues for my clearance. We applied for a loan modification on our subprime. The BofA rep indicated that we would be approved and instructed us to refrain from payments during the approval process in order to keep the loan balance the same throughout the process. After a couple of months of processing BofA denied our modification and immediately started foreclosure proceedings. I know of several other people who have had the exact same thing happen with BofA. When BofA moved to foreclose, after denying our modification, our only option was to claim bankruptcy to save the home. Had BofA not moved to foreclose we would have never filed BK. Our BK is a Chapter 13 with a 100% repayment plan, so its not like I am walking away from any debt. Its kind of crazy because I am paying a fairly high monthly payment on the BK and if I lose my clearance as well as my job I will have to consider converting the BK to a Chapter 7 and just walk away from all of the debt. Not my best case scenario but it may be my only option in this case. So I guess if I end up getting the shaft on this thing, I will just pass the buck, its the American way.. LOL
YoungFed wrote:

Mandrew,


Although you make a valid point and it’s defiantly arguable
I don’t think that would hold up to any standard.  I do however wish you the best of luck.  I’m working on a foreclosure myself, but all
my other debts are always paid and never late. 
My foreclosure is due to the fact that BofA wouldn’t modify my loan and
its subprime.  I had to take a job
overseas to pay for it and it has caused a major hardship.  If your situation is similar to this maybe you have a fighting chance for litigation?




User1  
#19 Posted : Monday, April 16, 2012 4:20:28 AM(UTC)
User1

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Posts: 6

Mandrew,

There are many ways of crafting a response to the SOR.  Given the implications of having your clearance revoked and the explanation you have to offer for the situation, it might be worth having a lawyer who specialized in clearances work with you on the response.  What and how you say it is very important and likely worth considering making the long-term investment.


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