Friday, June 29, 2012

Short Sales and Security Clearances

In the Northern Virginia area, having a security clearance is almost a must if you want to work in the DC Metro area.  It is no surprise that we therefore come in contact with various clients who are concerned about the effects of a short sale on their security clearance.  Since we are real estate professionals, we can't give you a definite answer whether it will or it won't, but none of our short sale clients who fully disclosed the circumstances of the short sale to their supervisors and the clearance issuing office have had any issues.  I myself worked for the military for 7 years and held a security clearance.  I understand the sensitivities behind it and here is my advice based on my experience.

If you feel that you need to complete a short sale due to circumstances out of your control such as a job transfer, spouse losing a job, balloon payment kicking in, etc be upfront with your supervisor  and discuss with them the possibility of doing a short sale.  If there is one thing I learned, it was that is always better to run something by them than to remain quiet and face the consequences.

My feeling is that if you have a history of not paying bills on time, you have unnecessary debt, and then you try to do a short sale, it will turn out very negatively for you.  However, if up to now you have a clean financial record but circumstances out of your control are forcing you into that situation, it will have a limited affect on your security clearance.  Also remember that as common as security clearance are in the DC area, so are short sales so I truly doubt you will be the first. Recent reporting in the Army Times seems to agree with my opinion, at least as far as the Air Force is concerned. That is also in line with the experience of our short sale clients that also had security clearances and didn't face any repercussions. But in general, I think the services are hesitant to give a blanket yes or no to short sales because they will review each case on its own merit.

Also, remember the military conducts its clearance investigations separate from the CIA and the FBI so how each one will handle it will depend on each agency's internal policies. I remember that I applied for a job with the CIA and the FBI while I already held a clearance with the Navy.  The FBI retracted their job offer based on the residency status of one of my family members.  The CIA offered me a position and had no issues with my family member's status--and neither did the Navy.  That is why I think it is best to broach the issue with the appropriate personnel at your agency and get a feel from them on how a short sale based on your circumstances will affect your clearance.  You do not want to withhold the information and then all of a sudden have it appear during your reinvestigation.

Luisa Rodriguez
Prestige Property Group
Exit Choice Realty
Woodbridge, VA 22193
For quality service, please contact us and a member of our team will be more than happy to assist you. 


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