Clearance Denied & Appeal Denied.... NOW WHAT??

I received notice that my clearance was unfavorable due to financial reasons and being dishonest. I did not list a voluntary vehicle repossession ($11K from 6 years ago) and some medical debts (less than $2K) on my eQuip because I honestly didn’t think they were on my credit. Once I had my background interview and was questioned about the debt, I admitted they were mine and that it was an honest mistake for not listing them. When I received the notice of the unfavorable decision, I immediately appealed- explaining my side. Apparently that was not sufficient enough as the appeal was denied.

I hear about people getting clearances with much higher debts, recent drug use, ect., and still getting favorable clearances. I sure don’t think it is fair, but that is just the kind of luck I have.

My question is: do I have to wait 1 year from the time I submitted the eQuip, received the initial notice, or the final denial to try again?

So . . . the administrative law judge upheld your denial? The most likely issue is that you didn’t do a great job of presenting your case. Did you have the hearing in person? Where you represented? These seem like mitigatable issues. Although, your explanation, “I honestly didn’t think they were on my credit” doesn’t hold much water. The issue should have been reported even if they were not on your credit report.

I think that you need to wait a year after your final denial. But, I’m sure that someone will correct me if I am mistaken.

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What did you do to pay back the debts? I am going to assume nothing because you say that you did not know they were on the report. Not mitigated, these debts are what did you in. I would start a plan of action to get these debts paid off with any legal means possible such as a payment plan. Then reapply.

One year from the date of the final decision before you submit a reconsideration request.

Regarding to your particular situation, I wanted to capture something here. You said that you “didn’t think they were on my credit.” That statement, alone, tells a reasonable person that you did not do your due diligence (homework) when you submitted the eQIP. Couple that statement with the fact that you were, again, unprepared during the background investigation interview in which you were confronted with derogatory information. I would presume that you did not show evidence that these debts were taken care of (paid off, etc.) If I am mistaken in my assumption, please feel free to correct me. Nonetheless, I find that alarming.

There was an appeal case a while ago, in which the applicant was able to show that the applicant did not intentionally falsify the form and those mistakes were honest mistake. However, the administrative judge and appellate judge(s) upheld the applicant’s denial because the applicant had not shown that the applicant could be trusted with classified materials (ie: doing due diligence).

Point being here, why should the Government trust you with classified materials when you couldn’t take care something as simple as your own “house.”

I take exception to your statement regarding to clearance holders who had much worst issues and yet they were cleared while you weren’t. I will go out of the limb and say that those who disclosed adverse information and were cleared are those who display level of integrity and responsibility. Those are the people I would entrust with classified materials that could endanger the lives of our warfighters and our nation not you.

Now, nobody is perfect. Everybody makes mistakes, including me. If you decide to apply for reconsideration in at least one year’s time. I urge you to think long and hard about your principles and your responsibility. Finally, I urge you to consult a security clearance attorney before you re-apply in at least one year’s time.

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What do you mean? I have not heard of this. Does this mean you can get the decision reversed?

The most important thing about an appeal is presentation. Almost anything can be explained and almost anything can be mitigated. When I appealed my denial, which WAS for items that would appear to be far worse than the OP here, I spent days, researching other appeal results, the Adjudicative Guidelines and my particular issues, gathering documentation and identifying and supporting mitigating factors. I modeled my response on the brief already produced by the government lawyer in my case.

My response was about 40 pages long. It included, for each item on my SoR, a history of what happened, why, what I did at the time and what I was doing about it at that time. I included options that I had considered, why I chose the option that I did, what outcome I expected at the time and what had actually happened. Then I wrote about what I was currently doing and the expected outcome. THEN I wend into the mitigating factors from the AG, how any applied to my case and provided documentation to show how it applied. Everything was presented neatly and organized in a fashion that allowed it to be follow by the ALJ and to allow him to refer back to the SoR.

I included an introduction where I discuss that I understood the importance of the process, the pitfalls and the seriousness of what I was asking the judge for. At the end, I reiterated points from the introduction, asked the judge to reverse the decision and specifically stated, “I believe that is clearly IS in the interest of national security to grant me access to classified material.”

I admit that I AM good a things like this. Others are not. Those who don’t have the confidence in their ability to write like this should be consulting with a lawyer even if they have requested a hearing on the record.

I would LOVE to find a position where I could help others present their cases . . . That’s one of the biggest reasons that I post here.


See Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 5220.6 Enclosure 3:

For the reconsideration part, see Enclosure 3.1.38, which is page 54 or 55.

EdFarmerIII, I’m saving this to my files. Good on ya.

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