For individuals pursuing a career in the United States military, obtaining and keeping national security clearance is often a critical necessity that will permit advancing in the ranks, increased responsibility, earning a higher income, and even staying in uniform.

Regrettably, one of the most common reasons behind a service members receiving denials for their security clearance petitions is a mismanaged financial lifestyle. The federal government perceives service members with financial issues to be untrustworthy and open to receive money in exchange for sensitive information.

When Facing Financial Troubles, Speak to an Experienced Attorney Before Applying for National Security Clearance

If you or someone you know is a service member, you should know that you may run the risk of losing your security clearance if you fail to keep track of your finances, especially because of the recent changes in the rules for the process of obtaining security clearance. Consider speaking to a qualified attorney with the right experience who can assist in the process of filing for national security clearance or appeal when the clearance has been denied.

The attorneys at BRETT O’BRIEN LAW, LLC have many years of experience serving military personnel and other service members obtain security clearance. The recent changes in the security clearance rules has made it very difficult for individuals facing any financial issue successfully obtain clearance. If you are petitioning to obtain a security clearance or have been denied, contact us for a free consultation today.

Recent Department of Defense’s Acquisition Prompts New Guidelines in Background Checks

As of October 2019, the United States Department of Defense will be assuming the responsibility of conducting the background investigations for federal government personnel seeking clearance for their duty. The primary reasons behind the transition was economical and a process-smart solution.

Under the new guidelines, a continuous monitoring of federal employee’s background who have national security clearance will be conducted. Military personnel and service members are also subject to this ongoing monitoring. Traditionally, national clearance holders were subject to periodic reviews, which varied between every five years to every ten, which depended on the type of security clearance held. Under the new, continuous evaluations, the system will automatically collect data from workers’ criminal records and financial records. Additionally, under certain situations, other data that may be collected could include social media data.

How This Can Affect Your Ability to Serve in the Armed Forces

Whether you are a new service member looking to file a petition for security clearance or are currently serving while facing the possibility of a clearance denial, the new changes in the background process could impact your security clearance and even prevent you from being deployed. When deemed undeployable, this can negatively impact your military career for many years.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, unless you are able to prove to the Department of Defense that you were the victim of fraud, identity theft, or there was another type of error, your future as a service member may be jeopardized.

Under previous background examinations conducted by the Office of Personnel Management, service members had ample time to address issues that could have affected their national security clearance. With more time in between the investigations, military personnel and service members were able to catch up on past-due payments and other financial issues. Under the new system, however, a missed payment or a late payment can show repercussions much sooner.

As of 2017, the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals heard over 2,000 appeals relating to national security clearance and of the thirteen adjudicative guidelines for security clearance, 50 percent of the cases heard were financial considerations.

The shift to the automated system is aimed to help the government’s extensive backlog of investigations concerning national security clearance. Unfortunately, this new process may create other issues as military personnel and service members will need to litigate in order to retain their national security clearance.

A Closer Look at Guideline F: Financial Factors That Cause Concern

Under the Department of Defense, a thorough examination of a person’s characteristics will be analyzed in order to ensure that the national security clearance petitioner is worthy of obtaining or keeping clearance. Although there is no scientific method of examination for a person’s top qualities, a person’s money management or mismanagement is a decent identifier of his or her trustworthiness.

As stated by the United States Code of regulations, Title 32 – National Defense: Financial Considerations, the following are financial factors that could raise red flags on a petition to acquire or keep a national security clearance:

  • Concern – A person who is overextended in his or her finances poses a risk of having to engage in unlawful acts in order to generate personal funds. Affluence that is unexplained can be linked to proceeds from a criminal action.
  • Conditions that could indicate a national security concern and could be disqualifying agents may involve
    • Inability to satisfy debts;
    • Unlawful financial practices such as employee theft, embezzlement, income tax evasion, check fraud, filing of deceptive loan statements, as well as other intentional financial breaches of trust;
    • Unexplained financial affluence; and/or
    • Financial issues linked to drug abuse, gambling, or alcoholism.

Hire the National Security Law Firm that Will Fight For You

If you are a current service member of the military or are a new member seeking to petition for national security clearance, you should know that recent changes to the background checks may affect your ability to maintain clearance. Consider speaking to a law firm with the right knowledge and experience who can guide you through the entire process. If you have been denied national security clearance, an attorney with the right skills can help defend your case.

The national security clearance attorneys at BRETT O’BRIEN LAW, LLC have helped many military service members maintain their clearance when facing financial troubles. The firm is dedicated to service members who are facing issues in maintaining national security clearance because of the recent changes. If you are facing a denied clearance, speak to a qualified attorney as soon as possible.