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I’m an E5 in the Army. Should I Go With Wites & Kapten Instead of Bankruptcy? – Vic

“Dear Steve,

Well i’m about 40k in debt. I’m and E5 in the army. I have a security clearance.

I got a letter from wites and kapetan. Its sounds decent. Has anyone heard of them. should i go with them. I can not file bankrupcy because of my clearance. if i did that, my clearance would be gone.

Vic”

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The Answer

Dear Vic,

The first thing you need to do is get the facts and not assume your security clearance will be damaged by a bankruptcy. In fact the Army says that in the face of overwhelming debt a bankruptcy is a positive step since it is a legal process.

You should read “Bankruptcy and Your Military Security Clearance.” The Wites & Kapetan approach is a typical debt settlement strategy where you will have to fall behind on your debts and collectors will be calling, you may be sued as well.

When you fall behind on your debts the collectors may contact your chain of command and this will create a potentially bigger problem for you as well.

The smarter move here is for you to go talk to your security officer and explain the situation.

A reader recently posted this comment on the site that might be helpful.

I’ll put my $0.02 in here. As long as your chain of command (both your direct as well as your Security Officer/SSO team), there shouldn’t be a problem. I am currently in the process of filing BK, and after reporting impending judgment cases against me, DSS came back requested a resubmission of my SF86. I filled out the pertinent information (by using the latest info in my credit reports), and the adjudication came back as fine, with the direction to report my filing and discharge as they occur.

With a clearance, honesty is always the best policy. ALWAYS report something that may be an issue, especially finances. In this day and age, DSS/DISCO are willing to let people slide if they’re up front about their issues. The stigmas associated with debts are slowly going by the wayside as we go deeper into this housing mess, and they’d rather know that the people currently in the system are taking care of their business rather than taking a chance on someone that they don’t know, yet. – Source

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

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Im an E5 in the Army. Should I Go With Wites & Kapten Instead of Bankruptcy?   Vic
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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • SemiSpook

    I’m the originator of said comment. Just waiting to schedule my last session with my lawyer to tidy up my paperwork to submit our case filing. Got some word back from DSS around the same time as my SF86 resubmission that they closed the re-investigation. As long as you’re up front when they reopen your file, it’ll be painless. Only drag on the process is the fact you’ve got to update everything in your e-QIP, especially when it’s been a couple of years since you’ve looked at it.

    Best of luck, Vic. You, of all people, should know that your security FSO/SSO is your best friend. And slap whomever told you BK would get your clearance yanked. :-)

  • SemiSpook

    I’m the originator of said comment. Just waiting to schedule my last session with my lawyer to tidy up my paperwork to submit our case filing. Got some word back from DSS around the same time as my SF86 resubmission that they closed the re-investigation. As long as you’re up front when they reopen your file, it’ll be painless. Only drag on the process is the fact you’ve got to update everything in your e-QIP, especially when it’s been a couple of years since you’ve looked at it.

    Best of luck, Vic. You, of all people, should know that your security FSO/SSO is your best friend. And slap whomever told you BK would get your clearance yanked. :-)

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