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US agencies urge creditors to be flexible with government workers

Government workers affected by the shutdown owe an estimated $438 million a month in rent and mortgage payments, according to Zillow
Government workers affected by the shutdown owe an estimated $438 million a month in rent and mortgage payments, according to Zillow GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP
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Washington (AFP)

US banking regulators on Friday urged creditors to be flexible with government workers affected by the shutdown who may need more time to pay mortgages and credit cards.

About 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed without pay for three weeks in what soon will be the longest US government shutdown ever.

Five federal financial regulators and state regulators encouraged institutions to work with consumers affected by the shutdown by modifying loans or extending new credit.

"While the effects of the federal government shutdown on individuals should be temporary, affected borrowers may face a temporary hardship in making payments on debts such as mortgages, student loans, car loans, business loans, or credit cards," the agencies in a joint statement.

And the regulators said prudent workout arrangements "are generally in the long-term best interest of the financial institution," and would not open them to additional scrutiny from bank examiners.

Government workers affected by the shutdown owe a combined $438 million a month in rent and mortgage payments, according to the real estate firm Zillow.

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