We’re now six days into President Trump’s petulant and pointless government shutdown and congressional leaders see no end in sight. And as thousands of federal workers are furloughed amid a sharp divide over Trump’s costly and unnecessary border wall, the agency that oversees the federal workforce is advising workers on avoiding creditors as they face a lapse in pay.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is advising furloughed workers on how they can offer partial payments to mortgage lenders, even posting on its website form letters they could use.
I am a Federal employee who has recently been furloughed due to a lack of funding of my agency, said one of three templates offered by the agency. Because of this, my income has been severely cut and I am unable to pay the entire cost of my mortgage, along with my other expenses.
Feds, here are sample letters you may use as a guide when working with your creditors during this furlough. If you need legal advice please consult with your personal attorney. https://t.co/t6h6OzALsS
— OPM (@USOPM) December 27, 2018
The OMP, however, explicitly stated that the agency cannot provide legal advice for furloughed federal workers.
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, reads the memo.
In times past, Congress has offered back pay to federal workers victimized by a government shutdown. The Senate passed legislation on Friday that would ensure federal employees facing furloughs during the shutdown would be guaranteed back pay once the government reopens. Regardless of future pay, the fact remains that federal workers are being forced to endure unnecessary stress during the holidays due to an unhinged president.