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Furloughed? Send Creditors A Note From Government

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403946 01: A postal clerk date-stamps an envelope containing U.S. Federal income tax forms destine for Kansas City, Missouri April 15, 2002 at the main post office in Des Plaines, IL. U.S. Federal and Illinois State income tax forms are due by midnight April 15. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) – Furloughed federal workers who have trouble paying bills can send their creditors a letter from the government pleading for patience.

Some agencies are offering employees a cover letter that explains to creditors the consequences of the government shutdown. One letter distributed to workers at the Department of Health and Human Services asks creditors to “remain patient and show compassion” for employees affected by furloughs.

The letter suggests bill collectors make “feasible arrangements” with employees to help them meet their financial obligations. It provides a phone number creditors can call to verify a customer’s employment status with the government.

More than 400,000 federal workers have been furloughed for more than two weeks as lawmakers continue to bicker over a deal that would reopen the government.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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