1. #1
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    Default Need advice on background check

    I am currently A Band for Long Beach Fire Department and I have an application in for LA City and have already completed the tests for both.

    I am going through a divorce and, when applying for both departments, I had a spotless record. I found out today that my soon-to-be-ex has been less than responsible with finances and negative reports were made to my credit. Since he received the mail, I never knew what was going on until too late. I am already contacting the companies to pay any outstanding amounts but, until our divorce is finalized, no one is letting me take my name off the accounts.

    I am doing my utmost to correct this, yet I know both the departments I am applying for look at credit records. There is nothing I can do to change what has happened. I can only correct what has already taken place and do my best to prevent more of it (which, to an extent, I am limited until the divorce is final). I assume responsibility for this since it was my choice to marry the guy in the first place, and this is a consequence of my decision. Yet, I've a horrible feeling that this is going to kill my chance of getting hired on.

    Does anyone have any advice on how best to proceed with this? Of course, anyone I find out is owed money will be paid. Sadly, without the cooperation of my ex, I am often not finding out until after the fact. Really need a ray of sunshine here. Thanks for any info.
    Last edited by ErinM1; 05-04-2007 at 04:48 PM.

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    Erin- I always tell people- When it comes to legal or civil matters, (fire or non-fire) to do three things- Document, document, document. Keep a copy of everything. Kinkos is your new best friend.

    Be able to present a clear and honest case to anyone, including your Background Investigator (BI). Continue to pay and repair. Hopefully, by the time the BI asks for your credit report, the changes (lets hope for positive) will be reflected.

    Anyone is going to tell you (and you already know), just be honest. The BI will understand and the fact you are making the changes/pay offs right away will look good.

    Also remember to save copys of any divorce papers/documents as well.

    Hope this helps.


    Also- J-Dud should be popping in here pretty soon. Hit him up for some advice as well.
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 05-04-2007 at 10:26 PM.

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    Erin,
    Yes, you are correct when you say a department will investigate your credit. The background investigator will scrutinize how your credit looked before, during, and after your marriage.
    Control what you can control. Get your name off what ever you can. Keep accurate records. You should be able to prove what HE purchased.
    Regardless, this will be an issue for you. It's not an insurmountable hurdle, but it will be scrutinized.

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    Good advice here. I would add that you should work with the creditors and make those payments, particularly anything with your name on it. Making an honest effort to pay debts goes a long ways with most reputable creditors. Sucks to pay down his debt....but in the grand scheme of things, it's a small price to pay to acheive your goals and be done with the whole situation.

    Good luck....and sounds like good riddance.
    Last edited by Jwarne2001; 05-04-2007 at 06:21 PM.

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    One last idea- A background check with two major FDs is rare. This is your one time to shine.

    Is there a chance your parents can loan you some money strickly to pay off some of this debt? You can always pay them back.

    Again, this is the "chance of a lifetime" and you want it to look good.

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    Default Follow the advice

    As a former Background Investigator with a Major Department in Southern California I'd say..... The last three posts' have nailed it. As it has been said...."Control what you can control". Answer all questions from the Background Investigator and remember they are human just like you are.
    Good luck with Long Beach and L.A.
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
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    Credit can be the make-or-break for a lot of departments. It is a long road to fix it. But like the pro's are saying, be honest, be prepared. I'll throw in to even have a typed statement to present to your BI explaining the situation.

    Hang tough,
    bam

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    Thanks for the sound advice everyone. I sincerely appreciate it. This is going to be a tough one, but at least I have a ray of sunshine now. Fortunately, it's not a matter of overspending but just things not being paid. Lesson learned on this one; you can't just hand something over without keeping an eye on it. I had handled the finances for home and business for about 8 years or so, but figured he could it. Was wrong on that. I've just arranged for us to do it together for awhile until he gets it down. Aside from that; repair, repair, repair.

    Once again, thank you guys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CALFFBOU View Post
    One last idea- A background check with two major FDs is rare. This is your one time to shine.

    Is there a chance your parents can loan you some money strickly to pay off some of this debt? You can always pay them back.

    Again, this is the "chance of a lifetime" and you want it to look good.
    A genuine piece of advice, but I had to laugh. Rather peel my flesh off than take money from my Dad (better yet, just take a second position and tighten the belt a bit). Fortunately, I can pay the expenses. Just a matter of figuring out what is where and who to get a check to. If it comes to a pinch, I'll take a second position.

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    Erir\n- If it were me and I could do it, I would borrow some money from my parents. Why? Because you going to have the awesome fire career soon and you will be able to pay them back.

    Again- Chance of a lifetime. If you can get in the positive faster BEFORE you meet with the BI, I would have no problem asking my Mom and Dad for some temporary help.

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    Thanks again for the advice. I'll do my best to get this squared.

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    Erin....I want to thank you for being thoughtful enough to try and handle your problems yourself. Being a Parent myself I have had to help my Kids with money problems. I use to think thats what Parents are for....I had to hit up mine when I bought my first house. We don't mind helping when we can its just nice to see someone try it on their own and not take the easy way out. I was a Background Investigator and I've seen a lot of cases like yours. Hang in there and I'm sure that things will go well with Long Beach and L.A.
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
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