June is American Housing Month and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is raising awareness about ways Michiganders can protect their homes through lender programs for those impacted by COVID-19 and through insurance policy reviews to make sure they have the coverage they need before they need it.
“It is important to make sure homeowners understand how to financially protect their homes, especially as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “American Housing Month is a great opportunity to review lender programs and insurance policies to make sure you have the financial protection you need all year long.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound financial impact on many homeowners, and help is available. DIFS has compiled information for Michigan homeowners struggling to make their mortgage payments in a publication available online. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, Economic Security Act provides help to those with federally backed mortgages, giving homeowners forbearance options and protection from extra fees or interest. In addition, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and DIFS launched the MiMortgage Relief Partnership, a cooperative agreement between more than 230 banks, credit unions and mortgage servicers in Michigan to provide mortgage relief to Michigan homeowners experiencing a COVID-19 related financial hardship. Learn more about the MiMortgage Relief Partnership at Michigan.gov/MiMortgageRelief.
“No one facing financial hardship due to this pandemic should lose their home, and DIFS is working hard to provide guidance to affected borrowers during this unprecedented time,” said Fox. “Homeowners experiencing difficulty paying their mortgage should contact their lender right away to learn what relief options they have available.”
Homeowners should also consider reviewing their insurance policies with their agent or insurance company to understand their coverage and any new discounts available, including for recent home improvements or going without a claim for a certain amount of time. This insurance review is a good opportunity to understand the risks you may still face and consider adding new coverage, for example to cover flood damage or water back-up. Additional information about homeowners insurance is available on the DIFS website.
Consumers who need assistance with their insurance or financial services company can also contact DIFS Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 877-999-6442, or file a complaint at Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints.
The mission of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security and success of Michigan residents, while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan citizens. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/difs or follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.