GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Mortgage relief is coming for homeowners struggling during the pandemic. On Thursday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) announced a partnership called 'MiMortgage Relief Partnership.'
The partnership includes 200 of Michigan's banks, lenders, credit unions and financial institutions that have expanded measures to help borrowers who may not have the finances to make their mortgage payments.
The measures are as follows:
- Financial institutions will agree to a 90-day grace period for all mortgage payments to either halt payments, reduce them, or modify them.
- Customers will not incur late fees or charges for 90 days.
- No new foreclosures will be initiated for 60 days.
- Credit scores will not be adversely affected if an an agreement is made between a lender and borrower to halt, delay or reduce payments.
"This is something that Governor was concerned about for the duration of this crisis, worrying about people with their homes was right on the top of her list of things," said Anita Fox, Director of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services. "So bankers and other institutions have been working with their customers banks, credit unions lenders, as these events unfolded and as people's needs change, but then there was a real desire to kind of get some uniformity and to expand upon those efforts and another call upon the financial services industry in the lending industry to work with us and partner with us. The response was overwhelming when the 200 institutions signed on."
If a customer would like to take up the opportunity to modify payments, these measures will not necessarily be granted to every borrower. It is the borrower's responsibility to approach their lender and come to an agreement.
"The idea behind this was not to limit the financial institutions to these particular things or say that these are the right solutions for every single borrower, but to lay out some of the options," said Fox. "The real key is for institutions to work with their borrowers and let borrowers know what some of the tools are... So the idea was to make sure that nobody loses their home during this time."
If you do not see your bank listed as participating in the partnership but still need help, the state urges you to reach out to your lender and ask for help directly.