Americans are still experiencing the harmful impacts of the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. The Congressional Budget Office reports that the economy suffered an $11 billion loss due to the shutdown. The pain is real as over 800,000 federal employees were furloughed with roughly half of them working without pay. Thousands of organizations across the nation, funded by the government to provide needed services to people in local communities, had to do so without receiving payment. Some of these organizations, which include fair housing groups, had to lay off staff or significantly reduce their services. NFHA worked with our members as well as national partners to compel the White House and Congress to reopen the government. While the federal government is now open, another shutdown threat looms if Congress cannot pass a budget by the February 21st deadline.
NFHA is working to limit the amount of damage to innocent people as a result of the shutdown. We hope the below resources can help.
Tips for Borrowers Affected by the Shutdown
Many lenders and other creditors have acknowledged that consumers may be experiencing financial hardships due to the shutdown and indicate a willingness to assist such consumers.
Homeowners, contact your lender immediately if you were unable to keep your mortgage current.
- Gather income and employment documents that indicate you were a furloughed federal employee; an employee of a federal contractor or a business affected by the government shutdown.
- Keep detailed notes of information received via phone and keep a copy of all correspondence to and from your mortgage company.
- Seek assistance from a HUD Certified Housing Counseling Agency that provides mortgage default and foreclosure prevention counseling services. These services are provided free of charge and there is no need to pay a private company for these services.
You can find your local agency here.
In general, many lenders and creditors announced that they will waive late fees and suppress negative credit reporting for affected consumers. You can review your credit reports to determine whether your lender/creditor has reported you as having paid late or missed a scheduled payment.
Federal law allows you to obtain a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each credit reporting agency. Go to the official annual credit report website.
If you have already obtained your free copy within the past 12 months, the information at this Federal Trade Commission (FTC) webpage explains other circumstances under which you are eligible for a free copy, as well as steps you can take if you find incorrect information on your report.
Tips for Victims of Discrimination
If you believe you have been discriminated against in your search for housing, lending or insurance, you can contact your local fair housing organization.
For the nearest private, non-profit fair housing organization, click here and enter your zip code.
What We Are Doing
NFHA is continuing to collect data and information from the field about the impacts of the shutdown. We’ll be sharing this information with elected officials, government officials and the White House. We have joined numerous organizations in drafting and signing on to letters to push for relief to people impacted by the shutdown.