Avoiding post job loss financial problems

Employees often fall into the trap of believing that everything will be all right, no matter what, if they just do their job.  For some that may be true, but for other people it just is not in the cards.  This is especially true for people who may be target for illegal treatment by an employer based on illegal discrimination, harassment or because of retaliation for whistle blowing.  A worker who falls into one of these groups may, despite excellent job performance, be fired.  The loss of a job can be devastating for many reasons, including it can become related to a criminal charge, civil litigation, an attack on a professional license or result in the need to file bankruptcy

Employees who feel unfairly treated may try to track what occurs at the workplace by taking careful notes of what happens, when it happens, who is causing it and the names of any people who may have witnessed the event.  This is especially important if the worker faces a complaint against his or her occupational or professional license.  These types of employment related claims could have devastating consequences. An attack on an individual’s license may have more than one negative effect, including causing harm to the employee’s professional and even personal reputation, loss of income, loss of an asset base—such as a home or retirement plan, and even in some cases be accompanied by a related criminal charge or involved complex litigation.  A worker who is the subject of illegal discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination of employment and/ or attack on a professional license should make an appointment to consult with a licensed attorney as soon as possible.  Timeliness is of the essence in legal matters.  Too many times people wait too long to try to assert their legal rights. 

One method to avoiding getting into deep financial trouble following the loss of employment is to cut back on expenses.  People who have lost their jobs often believe that their next job is just around the corner and rely on their credit cards to fill the gap between their former income and whatever income is available through unemployment or severance.  Relying on credit cards to fill the income gap, however, is a slippery slope.  If it takes longer than expected to find a new job, or the new job does not pay as well as the old job, people can find it difficult and sometimes nearly impossible to pay their credit card bills and keep their house and/or car payments current.  Sometimes, even the house and car payments that were affordable when employed become impossible when the sole source of income is unemployment compensation, assuming the employee is eligible for unemployment, or the income from the new job is less than that of the old job. 

The first step in protecting against severe financial and legal problems is to meet with a licensed attorney who can help an employee evaluate his or her legal rights and responsibilities.  If the person is already experiencing financial difficulties and in need of debt relief, the lawyer can conduct a bankruptcy evaluation which would include the means test to determine eligibility for bankruptcy relief.  This may include qualification for filing under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  At that time a person can also discuss whether there are alternatives to bankruptcy and whether such alternatives are feasible under the circumstances.

This article is not intended to give legal advice and does not do so.  The reading of this article does not establish an attorney-client relationship or substitute for consulting with a licensed attorney.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

Comments are closed.