Financial Issues Continue to be the Top Reason for Clearance Denials
After taking a quick peek at the latest Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals (DOHA) case it is still clear without a doubt that financial issues dominate as the number one reason applicants are denied security clearance eligibility. The types of issues run from running up credit card debts and then defaulting on them, failing to file or pay taxes owed, auto repossessions, student loans going into default, or just making bad decisions on spending more than they make. The last five cases that were appealed to DOHA involved these financial concerns:
- A 28-year-old former military servicemember had a history of making bad financial decisions from 2013 to present and still owed over 23k in delinquent debts. Most of the debts were from repeatedly buying expensive cars and then trading them in before they were paid off and getting an even more expensive car.
- This 59-year-old contractor failed to file taxes for years 2014-2017. When asked why, he stated the person he hired to do it failed to do so, however, he refused to provide the name of this person when queried by the judge.
- A 39-year-old contractor had previously had her clearance revoked in 2017 due to irresponsible spending and having to pay a lawyer 10K to help her get a DUI pled down to reckless driving. She is currently delinquent on her mortgage and has wage garnishments going towards paying off a delinquent car loan. She also had student loans in collections along with five credit cards.
- This 33-year-old research scientist accrued over 165k in private student loans which he was able to obtain with a cosigner. The loans went delinquent when his cosigner was no longer able to help him make the payments. He claimed he tried everything he could to renegotiate or bring down the payments with no luck. However, he failed to mention the three expensive vacations he took and the 52K automobile he purchased.
- This 45-year-old contractor divorced his wife and because of the settlement, owed her 45K from his retirement funds. He failed to pay, and she was awarded a judgment against him.
In all these cases the DOHA judges denied clearance eligibility for the applicants for not acting responsibly in trying to resolve their delinquent debts. Financial issues continue to be the bane that stymies clearance applicants.