The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has provided sample letters on its website for federal employees who may be experiencing financial difficulties due to the shutdown and need to make payment arrangements with their creditors.
The sample letters are for a creditor, mortgage company, and landlord.
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- OPM Provides Guidance on 2019 FEHB and Other Benefits During Shutdown
OPM provided the following advice:
Unfortunately, we cannot provide you with personal legal advice. If you need legal advice to assist you in any response to creditors, landlords or the like, consult with your personal attorney or contact your state or county bar association, many of which maintain lawyer referral services.
Things to consider:
Speak with your landlord, mortgage company, or creditor first before you write a letter. Just sending a letter may not be very effective as it will take a fair amount of time to get to the individual who needs to see it, if at all. Speaking with your creditors will enable you to work out the details of any payment plan that you can later confirm with your letter.
Be sure to send the letter directly to the person to whom you have spoken to confirm your request for a reduced payment plan.
Make sure that you have all the necessary information in your letter including account number, address of the property, and a telephone number where you can be reached.
Be sure to keep a copy of the letter. In some situations, you may want to send the letter by certified mail. You may also want to fax the letter to the company.
Click here to download OPM’s sample letters (4-page Word document)
Additional information on the shutdown furlough from OPM can be found here.
To check the federal government’s current operating status, click here.