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Michigan Financial Institutions Urged to Protect Customers' Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments From Being Used for Fees, Overdrafts
July 15, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 15, 2021
(LANSING, MICH) The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) issued a bulletin July 13 strongly encouraging financial institutions to protect customers' monthly Child Tax Credit payments from being used to satisfy overdrafts or fees.
"These funds are intended to fight childhood poverty and help families recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is important that our financial institutions ensure those funds are available to be used by families as intended by the law," said DIFS Director Anita Fox. "Michigan's financial institutions have stepped up for the communities they serve throughout the pandemic, and we encourage them to continue to assist their customers with the financial challenges they face."
Child Tax Credit payments are automatic monthly payments distributed as part of the American Rescue Plan to help families who are raising children. Guidance issued in the bulletin encourages Michigan financial institutions to treat those deposits in the spirit of the legislation so Michiganders can use the funds on family needs. Institutions are strongly urged not to access customers' Child Tax Credit payments to satisfy overdrafts or for overdraft fees, ATM fees or late payment fees.
As part of Michigan's COVID-19 economic recovery efforts, Michigan's financial institutions continue to support their customers, with more than 230 of them joining the MiMortgage Relief Partnership extension to help those experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 keep their homes. Participating lenders have agreed to provide mortgage relief and financial protections to impacted homeowners who contact their lenders or mortgage companies by December 31, 2021. Additionally, more than 120 of Michigan's state-chartered banks and credit unions participated in the Paycheck Protection Program to provide forgivable loans to small businesses facing financial hardship due to the pandemic.
DIFS can assist consumers and businesses with questions or disputes that cannot be directly resolved with their financial institutions. 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 residents. For more information, visit Michigan.gov/DIFS or follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.