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The hundreds of thousands of federal workers who are not getting paid because of the partial government shutdown got a little advice from the government's Office of Personnel Management today. Tips include how to talk to credit card companies, mortgage lenders and landlords about not being able to pay their bills. The OPM put out several sample letters that included passages like this one intended for a landlord: "I would like to discuss with you the possibility of trading my services to perform maintenance  (example: painting, carpentry work) in exchange for partial payments." Another letter dealt with how to ask for a temporarily lower mortgage payment. How likely are any of these suggestions to go over with creditors? 

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Follow Erika Beras at @@Erika_Beras