Domestic Violence, Debt Easy Path to Security Clearance Denial


@backgdinvestigator - why does the government not directly state said expectation on the 85p, as it does on the 86? As for the form being out dated, that is not the applicants problem…


Here’s a good one to hammer home my points:



This document is also important to our topic. In the content, the government states, “Additionally, individuals can be charged with an arrest when they are not present or they may believe a conviction was reduced or expunged”. The governments statement in this document is made in regards to establishing intent to a material falsification allegation. Use the find tool and search “expunged” to find the paragraph.


2002 is a pretty old reference.

I am leaving this thread. Just beware that the security clearance and federal employment is not a criminal process but a civil process. You might win the “shoulda” part of your case but lose the “employable” part.

Also, the SF86 and SF85 series are difficult to change because they do not belong to one agency. Read up on how long it took to make the recent minor changes to the SF 86.


precedent is precedent - 2002, 1980, 1960 - age is irrelevant unless there is a more recent ruling. @backgdinvestigator


Dave . . . Sure, precedent is precedent. But, that doesn’t mean that the laws and guidelines haven’t been changed since the ruling. That is why the age of the precedent matters. If the law or guidelines changed, there may not be a new ruling on to contradict the old because some ambiguity may have been removed so that cases never get that far.


@EdFarmerIII - now we are entering the realm of “what-if” scenarios… great… please, tell me what could have been changed or show me some evidence of change regarding the content of this specific thread?


Since I addressed your general statement, I’ll decline to get into a tit-for-tat with you on the specifics.

Enough to say that SCOTUS often revisits cases periodically and either affirms for reverses prior rulings. In addition, an appellate court ruling can stand for years as a precedent before being reversed by a higher court.

Precedent is also ONLY precedent. It is NOT law.


I don’t much enjoy tit-for-tat either, especially when the debate lacks any credible evidence supporting a claim.


The very definition . . .



I suppose I should clarity, I provided evidence… I have not seen any in opposition.


Please refrain from personal diatribes on this forum and keep on topic.


That is not true. Judicial decisions become case law. Those decisions do not expire unless the deciding court explicitly says do in its decision. So, the age of a judicial decision is irrelevant. If there is a recent law by the legislation or a new precedent on this, please share that with us as I was unable to find one…


The point . . . For the last time . . . Is that I was addressing the general statement that old precedent CAN be superseded. If someone is quoting old precedents, in a forum of this type, it is incumbent on them, or those taking their advice, to be certain that it has not been superseded by changes in law or further decisions.

I wasn’t talking about expiration.

End of story . . . I really do not need lessons in our legal system . . .


Just a note to close this topic, from an adjudicator’s point of view expunged records can be considered if the conduct that led to the charge actually occured and there is more recent similar conduct. Many times prosecutors and judges want to clear the caseload and accept plea deals and such. Clearance adjudiction is not constrained by criminal prosecution standards, but rather gauge the probablity of the whether the conduct actually happened along with mitigating factors.


It seems a little odd that the number one cause of clearance denial is financial issues, given that the country is just now emerging from one of the worst economic crises in history. I know or have worked with a ton of people, holding very high level clearances, who have massive debt and financial issues, normally due to extended unemployment associated with huge losses to the Defense Department during the 2008-2016 timeframe. They’re working the problems out, but those sorts of things can take years to recover from. So, bottom line, what exactly constitutes “financial concerns?” Because if having debt or having been through severe financial hardship is reason enough to deny a clearance, a lot of people are in real trouble, me included. What should I be doing to mitigate this?


Yes . . . A lot of people are and have been having problems but sorting out those who acted responsibly and had problems from those who acted irresponsibly and had problems can be a difficult task.

Mitigating your problems basically includes addressing those negative items on your credit report. Attempting to pay off debt, negotiating settlements, removing incorrect entries and documenting the causes, communications and remediation of other items are all positives. Financial counseling or education help as well. Other people had personal or family businesses that struggled or went under during or due to the down turn. Investments that turned south . . . All of these items should be well documented, disclosed and openly discussed.

Personally, I had a huge financial loss from a family investment that caused a lot of other financial problems. It was difficult and embarrassing to recount with my investigator but I DID receive my clearance so it can be done.


Your response is encouraging, thanks. I’ve held a TS for 30 years, and this is the first time I’ve ever had to deal with this sort of thing, so it’s pretty unsettling as you can imagine. Good to know that I’m not the only one facing such issues, though.


Remember . . . I meant to put this in my last response . . . One of the biggest reasons that financial issues are the number one reason for denying clearance is that financial issues are one of the most common reasons for those with clearance to betray the trust put in them.


I think that may have been true in the 1980s, but it seems that some of the more recent, very high-profile cases didn’t involve money. At least one was (apparently) to simply avoid any scrutiny by oversight agencies, and one was just a whacko with an agenda. But I’m sure there’s plenty of fraud/bribery etc still happening, that simply doesn’t make the national headlines, I’ve seen it firsthand, particularly at deployed sites with the least local oversight.