Much like police officers, members of the U.S. Armed Services are held to a higher standard of personal conduct than the average citizen. However, financial problems can and do happen to anyone. It is lawful for an active duty servicemember to file for bankruptcy. They are lawfully allowed to file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 protection. Like civilians, many servicemembers decide to file for bankruptcy because of unforeseen financial hardships caused by divorce, major medical bills, and accidents.
However, it is important for active duty servicemembers to keep in mind that a bankruptcy may affect their security clearances. The background check required to obtain a security clearance mandates that the servicemember answer certain financial questions. The presence of wage garnishments, judgments, and delinquent accounts can influence whether a security clearance is granted and it’s quite likely that a servicemember who is considering bankruptcy will have some of these financial problems.