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I’m Running for Public Office and Need to Go Bankrupt. – Dave

“Dear Steve,

I have old debt under my personal name that spawned from a sole-proprietor ship years ago and I am considering going bankrupt on about $15,000.00 worth of Debt. I am also running for Public office this November and am trying to find out the ramifications of going bankrupt. Please help!

Can I run for office without people finding out I went Bankrupt? Should I wait until after the election? At what point will this show publicly?



Dear Dave,

Over the year I’ve helped quite a few politicians that had money troubles. You are certainly not the first.

I guess I can best answer this from a position of a campaign manager. It seems that in this poor economy, a bankruptcy can be explained if it comes up. If you file bankruptcy at any point, it could be potentially discovered by someone doing an online search in the PACER computer system. I doubt you local paper publishes the names of people made bankrupt these days. It has become a rare practice.

It seems to make logical sense to go bankrupt now and be honest about it if directly asked. You have a good story to explain it. If you hide your problems and it surfaces after you are elected, your constituents may have a less favorable view of your hiding this than if you just fall on the sword and deal with it if it comes up.

But then I hate secrets and when people try to hide them they eventually leak out and the ramifications seem to be worse or more unfortunate that way.

The typical politician bankruptcy I see is the person that does not win and has put a lot of campaign debt on their cards that finances are not going to be able to pay.

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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.

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