Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Morally Bankrupt?

Right after Z was born, almost 4 years ago, the Hubs lost his job. Suddenly, overnight we went from a family of 2 with an income of $80,000 a year to a family of 3 with an income of less than $30,000 a year.

And for the next year, he looked for work, he tried to find a job.

 Men in this recession are having a much harder time of things in the world. Black men are having an even harder time.

 The bills piled up, so did the coupons. I worked two jobs. We sold off our second vehicle.

We did everything we could, thinking that as soon as he got back to work, we could save it, we could rebuild, we could get back on track.

Unfortunately, that is not the reality. The painful reality that we finally had to accept was that we had debt of a family that made almost 3 times what we were currently making. That no matter how hard I worked, no matter how many jobs and coupons, we were financially bankrupt.

And so, almost 3 years ago, we officially filed for bankruptcy.

We almost lost our marriage. We almost lost ourselves. It was an extremely hard decision, but it was the decision that was ultimately right for our family.

Since then we have increased our credit rating almost 200 points over where it was pre-bankruptcy. The calls that kept me awake at night are gone. And when I ultimately was laid off from my job, there wasn't as much stress to find a new job immediately.

Last Friday, I was offered a job.

They offered almost twice the amount of money I was making in the Before.

I was excited.

Until they mentioned the background check and credit check.

All weekend, I debated whether I should speak with the Human Resources Director. At least, to put me at ease that it wouldn't be an issue.

It is an issue. A major issue. And the offer has now been rescinded.

Her words? "According to our attorney, you are too much of a liability. If you came in here and started stealing identities or embezzling funds, we would be at fault for hiring you."


How is filing for bankruptcy a criminal act? How am I now guilty of something that I would never have done even if I had never had to file for bankruptcy? If I was able to do those things without being caught, I never would have had to file for bankruptcy in the first place.

Since when did being financially bankrupt equate to morally bankrupt?

In this crazy new normal that this recession has introduced, you have people, good people, that can't pay their bills anymore. You have people that don't have homes and can't take care of their children - but employers are still expecting to see good credit scores?

It seems like employers are really only looking to employ the still employed which leaves those of us without a job in a very scary place.


  1. Hey chick....I'm working on finding you an article I read yesterday and thought specifically of you. It's a bill being looked into to (can't remember which state) that would not allow future employers to hold bankruptcy against you. Ill letcha know when I find it.

  2. I know it doesnt help right NOW...but read this...

  3. Amen! This is a ridiculous cycle! Many people will not hire someone who has been out of work for 6 months! Whatawhata? In this economy? Are they serious?

  4. That's so horrible. :( I'm sorry hun. My husband has been considering filing for the same thing. We haven't talked about it a lot but boy is this scary!

  5. Employers have a horrible upper hand in this recession and in many senses are making the economy worse because of it. They can pay less and discriminate more. I lost my $55,000/yr salary last year due to pregnancy bed rest and my husband and I found ourselves in a very similar situation. If it weren't for our friends paying our bills & his mom paying our mortgage it would have been worse. It took me almost a year to find a job after having the baby. I applied for many but ended up with a former employer who already knew my background. Hang in there mama. There's something great out there for both of you!

    Margaret (@goodbadfamily)


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