Active and retired military persons have certain protections that civilians do not have including the Service Member’s Civil Relief Act, which can protect active military members from lawsuits as a result of debt. In addition, military personnel have the same legal right to file bankruptcy and to consult with a Kennesaw bankruptcy attorney to discuss the possibility of filing bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Military Members
While a Chapter 7 bankruptcy offers military personnel protection from foreclosure, it is important to understand that you may already receive those benefits under the Service Member’s Civil Relief Act. Nonetheless, there is nothing to prevent you from filing bankruptcy provided you are aware of the following:
- Security clearance – in some cases, active military duty personnel have certain security clearances. There is a possibility that filing for bankruptcy could put your clearance in jeopardy. If your current military position requires a security clearance, talk with a Kennesaw bankruptcy attorney about what steps you may be able to take to protect that clearance.
- Counseling requirements – in nearly all cases, active military members are exempt from the counseling requirements associated with bankruptcy. Your Kennesaw bankruptcy attorney can help you determine if you are exempt.
- Activated reservists – those who are called to active duty from a reserve position may be exempt from the Chapter 7 bankruptcy means testing. In many cases, this also applies to retired military personnel. Discuss the means test with your Kennesaw bankruptcy attorney to see if you need to worry about this aspect of filing for bankruptcy.
While active duty personnel have the right to file bankruptcy, it may not be in your best interest to do so without consulting with a Kennesaw bankruptcy lawyer first. There are many options available to active duty personnel and in some instances, Chapter 13 may be a better option to protect your assets as well as your security clearance.
For a free legal consultation, call (770) 792-1000
Meeting of Creditors
One of the challenges that military members face is the creditor meeting which is required by the bankruptcy code. This is especially challenging if you are a resident of Georgia but you are stationed far from home. Talk to your GA bankruptcy lawyer about this requirement so that you understand what options are available to you to ensure that you are in compliance with the court requirements. In some cases, it may be possible to have someone stand in for you by providing a power of attorney or use some other options.
Being in the military should not prevent you from getting a fresh financial start if you are overwhelmed with debt. Oftentimes, service members have a difficult time maintaining their finances with multiple deployments and having their family far away. Bankruptcy may be a necessity to ensure your financial future is stable.
If you are an active military member, an employee of the Department of Defense or in another position that requires a security clearance and you have questions about your ongoing career options and how bankruptcy will impact them, contact Roger Ghai, a bankruptcy attorney in Kennesaw at the Law Offices of Roger Ghai at (770) 792-1000; I can help answer your questions and help you determine the best course of action based on your individual circumstances.