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Life is full of surprises and unexpected events and sometimes, despite our best planning, it can get the better of us. A divorce, a lawsuit, an accident or extended illness that results in high medical bills can translate to rapidly growing, accumulated debt. Bankruptcy is a legal process that is available in these types of situations to help people regain financial stability. But what if you work in the financial sector, as an accountant, auditor, financial planner, financial analyst, trader or stockbroker? Could filing for bankruptcy hurt you professionally, and if you hold a special license like a Series 6, Series 7 or CPA, could your license be revoked?

If you work in finance and you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, contact Sirody & Associates for a free consultation. Move forward on a clean financial path. Call (410) 415-0445.

CPA License
Accountants generally have a state-issued CPA license, and sometimes individuals who work in business valuation, financial forensics or financial planning have a CPA license as well. This license may be revoked in cases of crime or a complaint of gross negligence or a violation of professional ethics; however, personal bankruptcy does not fall into any of these categories. In addition, an employer cannot deny an individual a raise or promotion or fire that individual based solely on a personal bankruptcy filing.

Series 6 And Series 7 Licenses And More
Financial advisors, dealer-brokers and traders must have a Series 6 license in order to sell packaged securities, such as mutual funds and variable annuities. Those who also wish to sell individual stocks and bonds, as well as options and futures, must also have a Series 7 license. Both Series 6 and Series 7 licenses are administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA), an independent regulatory organization that oversees securities firms. Financial services providers who want to sell commodities must have a Series 3 license, and those who wish to act as investment advisors must have a Series 65 license. There is also a Series 66 License which allows an individual to act as both an investment adviser representative and as a securities agent. Both real estate and life insurance require additional licensing.

According to FINRA, a securities broker-dealer who files for bankruptcy is not necessarily disqualified from working for a FINRA member financial services firm, or have their license revoked. However, any individual working at or intending to work at a financial services firm is obligated to disclose a personal bankruptcy. Bankruptcy laws vary from state to state, but in most cases because all individuals are entitled to bankruptcy relief, any professional licenses should remain unaffected. Still, it may be best to disclose information sooner rather than later so that you can proactively address any questions or concerns your employer may have.

Assess Your Individual Situation
As a financial services professional, you are likely analyzing and evaluating different scenarios for investments, portfolios or balance sheets on a daily basis. So when you take a hard look at your own financial situation, try to be as objective as possible. If your annual income exceeds the median income for Maryland, then you would be eligible to file for Chapter 13 (rather than Chapter 7) bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be a very practical option to help get your finances back on track. You’ll be able to put an end to wage garnishment, catch-up on mortgage payments and prevent foreclosure on your home, stop your car from being repossessed and set-up a debt repayment plan that works for your situation and will enable you to start rebuilding your credit.

Get Qualified Help
An experienced bankruptcy attorney will be able to evaluate your specific circumstances, provide guidance and address your questions. It is particularly important to work with a professional who is intimately familiar with both state and federal bankruptcy laws and how they pertain to financial services professionals. Contact us online for a free consultation or call (410) 415-0445.