DIFS Encourages Impacted Borrowers to Take Advantage of Assistance Programs Before Upcoming Deadlines

Media Contact: Laura Hall, 517-290-3779, halll17@michigan.gov
Consumer Hotline: 877-999-6442, Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 2, 2021

(LANSING, MICH) The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is reminding Michigan consumers with federally backed mortgages who are worried about falling behind on payments that assistance is available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act but they must act before the September 30 deadline.

"DIFS is encouraging anyone struggling financially as a result of COVID-19 to contact their mortgage lender and discuss the options available to them," said DIFS Director Anita Fox. "No one should have to worry about losing their home due to the financial impacts of the pandemic, but time is running short to seek assistance through these programs."

Under the CARES Act, borrowers with federally backed loans could ask for a pause or reduction of their payments, also known as a forbearance, of up to 180 days, with an extension of 180 days if additional relief is needed. The Biden Administration has extended the forbearance enrollment window through September 30, 2021, but the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported in August that about 569,000 borrowers in the U.S. are in the early stages of delinquency and have not participated in a forbearance plan.

Individuals with federally backed mortgages, including loans through the U.S. Veterans Benefits Administration (VA loans), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (FHA or HUD loans), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have until September 30, 2021 to request an initial forbearance.

Individuals with loans backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac do not currently have a deadline for requesting an initial forbearance.

The MiMortgage Relief Partnership is also available to assist impacted homeowners in Michigan until December 31, 2021. Through this partnership, more than 230 of Michigan's financial institutions have agreed to provide mortgage relief to borrowers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

Individuals unsure of who owns their mortgage can visit the Federal Housing Finance Agency website.

For more information on COVID-19 related mortgage relief, call DIFS Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 877-999-6442.

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.

####