7 ON YOUR SIDE

Government shutdown 2013: Those furloughed concerned about rent, mortgage

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IJAMSVILLE, Md. (WJLA) - As the government shutdown stretches on, furloughed employees with mortgage or rent payments are getting concerned.

Photo: David Goehring via Flickr

While most of them will get retroactive pay, that doesn’t help with bills that are due now and banks that won’t bend.

Last week, several major banks told ABC7 they were working with customers affected by the shutdown on a case-by-case basis to figure out a solution to help them. But some people say their bank has had them jumping through hoops while getting very little help.

The pantry at Cher Davis’ home in Ijamsville is freshly reorganized. The house is spotless and the closets have never been cleaner. But now eleven days into the shutdown, about the only thing left on her to-do list is worry.

“There’s a lot of people in the same boat,” she says. “There’s a lot of people who have both husband and wife working in the federal government and that means no income.”

Cher and her husband are both furloughed chemists and no income is making Oct. 15 their personal debt ceiling.

“Unless we get our paychecks this coming Monday we don’t have the money to cover our mortgage, car payment, and the rest of the bills that we need to pay," she says.

“If you are a consumer and you have a mortgage right now, proactively, don’t wait,” says Cody Kessler of the Real Estate Mortgage Network. 

Kessler says don’t expect the bank to give a free mortgage payment, but they do have options. Several banks, including Bank of America, who has Davis’ loan, told 7 On Your Side they’re handling shutdown issues case-by-case.

“We’ve seen some where it has happened, we’ve seen some where it wasn’t.”

Davis has been calling Bank of America since Oct. 1, hoping to figure out a solution.

“They strongly advised me to make my payment and suggested I contact family or friends to borrow money,” she says. “[It’s] very disappointing. I felt like they really did not care.”

After 7 On Your Side called Bank of America Friday morning, two representatives called Davis, promising to get back to her with solutions by Tuesday.

In a statement, Bank of America says, “We regret that this wasn’t addressed when she first contacted us and have apologized to Ms. Davis for her earlier experience.”

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