Are You Affected Now?
Have you been affected by the government shutdown? As a former federal employee and someone who experienced the government shutdown in 1995, I completely understand how you feel. I remember the 1995 shutdown like it was yesterday. I was working as a Registered Nurse at the VA Long Beach Healthcare System. During the month of December, just before Christmas we received word we would not be paid on payday which was a few days away. However we were still expected to come to work to care for our patients. It was not the patient’s fault the government shut down and they needed us to help them with their healing process. That was a very scary time for myself and many other people whom I knew personally. Back then I was living paycheck to paycheck and I could not afford to miss any paydays.
There have now been four “true” shutdowns where operations were affected for more than one business day. The first two happened in the winter of 1995-1996, when President Bill Clinton and the Republican Congress were unable to agree on spending levels and shut down the government twice, for a total of 26 days. The third was in 2013 when the House and Senate standoff on funding the Affordable Care Act resulted in a 16-day shutdown. The fourth shutdown, starting in December 2018 and continuing into early 2019, centered on a dispute over border wall funding. (See full article)
Your Rent, Mortgage and Credit Rating
For those who don’t have much savings, making rent and mortgage payments is proving a challenge. “Any delay in a mortgage payment could harm an individual’s finances and their credit, which would affect potential purchases in the future,” said Jessica Lautz, the managing director of survey research at the National Association of Realtors. (See full article)
During the shutdown of 1995, I remember contacting all of my creditors, mortgage holder and utility companies to make arrangements to pay them late. Most of them agreed to not charge a late fee or impose a penalty and most importantly not report any negative activity on my credit report.
Things You Can Do Now
Financial institutions such as Navy Federal Credit Union and Wells Fargo have posted online messages to offer assistance and suggest actions customers may take if they’re affected by the government shutdown. For example, Well Fargo says it will consider offering payment assistance for mortgages, credit cards and loans.
Additionally, a recent tweet from the federal Office of Personnel Management provided sample letters that federal workers can use to discuss payment options with landlords and creditors.
With no end to the shutdown in sight, affected workers should plan to reach out to their landlords or mortgage lenders to discuss payment options. Additionally, consider contacting your members of Congress to make your voice heard. (See full article)
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We are Leroy & Theresa Miller with The M & M Team Realty. We are Residential Realtors working with clients to purchase, sell or lease. We specialize in clients who need to sell or purchase property due to life changing events (i.e. a divorce). We understand the urgency and sensitivity of the clients needs.
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