Will My Employer Know If I File For Bankruptcy in Philadelphia?
Many people tend to fear bankruptcy because they believe they will lose everything. Many other people don’t want to hear of bankruptcy as an option to manage their debt because of social repercussions or because they fear they will have problems at work. What many people fail to understand is that bankruptcy can be your best tool to fight off your debt. Furthermore, as you will see throughout this article, your employers are not entitled to be notified about your bankruptcy process. Our Philadelphia bankruptcy attorneys from Young Marr & Associates invite you to keep reading as we discuss whether your employer will find out about your bankruptcy.
Can My Employer Know About My Bankruptcy?
Many debtors may be concerned because they fear their employer finding out about their bankruptcy process. Generally, your employer will not be notified about your bankruptcy process. However, depending on your circumstances and the chapter under which you are filing for bankruptcy, your employer may get notice of your process. Yes, your bankruptcy will be part of the public record, but your employer will need to look directly into it to see if you are going through a bankruptcy process or not.
However, depending on your situation, your employer may be notified about your bankruptcy. Your employer may be notified of your bankruptcy in any of the following scenarios:
Chapter 7 bankruptcy or straight bankruptcy, is one of the most common types of consumer bankruptcies. Through it, debtors can discharge most of their unsecured debt, which includes credit card debt. The qualification process for Chapter 7 allows a debtor to work their way through bankruptcy without the need to notify their employer about it. Instead, the process is handled by the bankruptcy court alongside you and your bankruptcy attorney.
However, there may be an exception to this general rule. If you owe money to your creditors, they may try to garnish your wages to satisfy your debt. When a creditor files for wage garnishment, your employer will be notified and make sure they comply with the garnishment order. The same may happen when filing for bankruptcy. Once you file for bankruptcy, your Bucks County bankruptcy lawyer will notify your creditors to stop garnishing your wages. There may be no direct notification to your employer specifying the reason behind stopping your wage garnishment. However, it may be a good indication you may be going through a bankruptcy process.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy or wage earner’s plan requires a three to five-year repayment plan through which you will steadily pay your creditors. Part of the repayment plan may require an automatic monthly deduction on your paycheck. Generally, the court may issue a wage order to start collecting a fixed amount of income to distribute it equally amongst your creditors. Your employer may be notified of this court-issued order to make the necessary adjustments in terms of your monthly wages. This way, your employer may know you are going through a bankruptcy process.
As you can see, in both scenarios, when you file for bankruptcy in Philadelphia, your employer will not be directly notified. However, they may find out along the way. This may raise additional concerns along the process. For instance, you may wonder if your work will be directly affected by bankruptcy.
How Can Bankruptcy Affect My Job in Philadelphia?
If you are going through bankruptcy and your employer has found out about it, you may feel worried about your job and your future moving forward. An employer cannot fire you because of bankruptcy. This rule applies to employees working in the public and private sectors. As an employee, you are protected from actions your employer may take against you because of bankruptcy. This means your employer cannot demote you, reduce your wages, or otherwise perform any adverse action against you because you filed for Chapter 7, Chapter 13, or any other bankruptcy chapter. However, your employer can take actions against you for many different reasons, including lack of productivity, not meeting deadlines, absenteeism, and other circumstances.
How Does the Bankruptcy Process Work?
Bankruptcy can be a powerful tool against excess debt and provides an excellent opportunity to get your finances back on track. However, the bankruptcy process is not automatic, and requires all petitioners to go through a series of steps to see if they can qualify for a bankruptcy discharge. For instance, Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires all petitioners to go through what is known as the “means test.” This test compares your income with your state’s median income to determine whether you qualify under this Chapter. Put simply, if your income falls below your state’s median income, you may not be able to be eligible for Chapter 7. Once qualified, a court-appointed trustee will be in charge of overseeing your bankruptcy process and paying all your creditors after the liquidation process of your Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Once this is done, you may be able to obtain your discharge.
Chapter 13 works different from Chapter 7 but is aimed at getting the same result: your discharge. However, in order to get a discharge through Chapter 13, you will need to devise a three to five-year plan to pay back your creditors. Once you have followed through your plan – without delays or missed payments – the court may grant your discharge.
When filing for bankruptcy, it is essential to provide accurate and complete information. Furthermore, you must make sure you are not engaging in any action that may raise a red flag. Keep in mind, bankruptcy is a federal process, and committing fraud can lead to severe consequences. Make sure to have skilled and experienced legal representation by your side at all times.
Bankruptcy Attorneys Offering Free Consultations in Philadelphia
If you or someone you know is facing financial hardship and is considering filing for bankruptcy, we can help. With years of hands-on experience, our Pennsylvania bankruptcy attorneys can assist you and guide you through the entire bankruptcy process. Don’t let excess debt take over your life. Talk to our skilled, dedicated bankruptcy lawyers today. Call Young Marr & Associates for a free, confidential consultation. Our phone number is (215) 701-6519.