Security Clearance and Bankruptcy

The United States Federal Government has extensive discretion in granting a security clearance. However, investigators use numerous guidelines and, when the finding is adverse, the applicant for the clearance has a right for an Administrative Judge to review the criteria and ascertain whether the granting of the clearance is in the best interests of the Country. During the Judicial administrative process, the applicant has a right, at his or her expense, to be represented by an attorney. During the process, the applicant’s lawyer may submit documents, call witnesses and cross-examine witnesses as well. The testimony of the implicant is usually one of the most important aspects of these hearings, and therefore, the applicant will be well-adviced to be prepared by an experienced attorney to address the concerns.

One of the guidelines concerns the financial worthiness of the applicant. The United States deems individuals with financial issues as individuals who may have the motivation to sell confidential information for pecuniary gains. The government, as it pertains to security clearances, also deems individuals with financial issues as being unreliable and/or untrustworthy. Further security clearance officers believe applicants with significant financial problems are susceptible to bribes or selling secrets which is another reason security clearance would be revoked.

While a Bankruptcy is viewed very unfavorably for the purposes of establishing trustworthiness, the guidelines describe mitigating factors, including how long ago was the bankruptcy, the amount of debt discharged, the circumstances surrounding the debt, and the actions the applicant took to try to avoid bankruptcy.

Approval of a security clearance is a win-win situation for the employer and employee. The employer needs an employee with a security clearance in order to perform the government contracted work, and the employee, of course, needs the clearance in order to be allowed to work. The Government has a significant interest in protecting its secret and confidential information. As such, the Government oftentimes denies security clearances when it believes the applicant may pose a risk.

Therefore it is critical for applicants to truthfully, and in an appropriate manner to disclose all information, including the mitigating events during the application process. If the application is initially denied, then the applicant should consult with a security clearance lawyer or attorney. Most security clearance attorneys are based in the Washington D.C. area. However, due to the government defense work that prevails in Brevard County (the Space Coast), Melbourne, Florida, (including Palm Bay) the law firm of Arcadier, Biggie and Wood, PLLC has successfully represented clients in being awarded security clearances, including top secret clearance, and has provided assistance at all stages of the application process.

The sooner it’s taken care of the more positive the investigator will view the situation.

Should you wish to confidentially discuss your security clearance concerns or issues, please call our Law Firm.


Maurice Arcadier, JD, MBA, and Stephen Biggie, Esq.

Arcadier, Biggie, and Wood PLLC

2815 W. New Haven Ave. #304  | Melbourne, FL 32904

P: 321-953-5998 | F:  321-953-6075 |

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