Security Clearance Denial

Contractor with Over 170K in Delinquent Debts Tries to Get a Clearance

It is well known that debt is the number one reason for security clearance eligibility denials according to appeals statistics over the years. One would think new clearance applicants would do a little research and make sure their finances were in good shape, or at least not so obviously bad as to automatically be disqualified. A Department of Energy appeals case caught my attention for the blatant amount of delinquent debts involved. Here are the highlights.

The applicant submitted his SF-86 in 2017 and denied eligibility in 2019 after being issued a Letter of Interrogatory (LOI) based on the below financial issues:

  • owes $125,439 in unpaid income taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for tax years 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, and 2016.
  • owes $18,212.57 in unpaid taxes to his state of residence for tax years 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.
  • has an unpaid judgment totaling $13,444 was filed against him in 2012
  • the IRS placed a lien against his property in 2014 for the nonpayment of his federal income taxes, and although he was notified of the lien, he has failed to establish a payment plan.
  • has a judgement was filed against him in the amount of $9,542 in 2012 for the nonpayment of a veterinary bill, and although the current amount owed has reached $13,444, he has failed to establish a payment plan.

Now, you would think this applicant would have tried to address some of this these issues before applying for a position that requires a security clearance. Or, he could even have tried to implement a payment plan once he was put on notice after getting the LOI. Instead, he went out and obtained a loan in February 2020 for a recreational vehicle in an amount exceeding $26,000. He also secured a loan for $8,500 to satisfy the judgement against him and a second loan of more than $26,000 for the purposes of purchasing a pontoon boat. Needless to say, the DOE Office of Hearing and Appeals judge in this appeal request did not find applicant had acted very responsibly and upheld the denial.

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