Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 27, 2021
Gov. Whitmer Secures Commitment from Financial Industry Groups to Assist Michiganders Affected by Recent Flooding
LANSING, Mich. - Governor Gretchen Whitmer today joined the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) and financial leaders across Michigan to announce a shared commitment to help Michiganders affected by the recent flooding in southeastern Michigan to stay in their homes and to afford necessary repairs. Michigan lenders have programs available to assist impacted homeowners, and homeowners whose mortgages are owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac - an estimated 70% of the market - may be eligible to delay making monthly mortgage payments, allowing these homeowners to focus on immediate financial needs caused by flooding.
"We're using every tool in our toolbelt to help Wayne and Washtenaw County residents recover from recent flooding, and we are thankful that our Michigan financial services industry partners are taking this step with us," said Governor Whitmer. "Michigan's banks, credit unions, and mortgage lenders will work with customers who may need deferred payments and loan modifications for their mortgages or loans to pay for repairs to their homes. Brighter days are ahead and there is help available for homeowners who suffered flood damage."
"It can feel overwhelming to decide how to move forward after a devastating flood, but homeowners should know that their mortgage lenders are there to help them as they get back on their feet," said DIFS Director Anita Fox. "It's important that homeowners do not delay if they need assistance. Contact your lender today to find out what options are available to you, so you can make needed repairs and move forward."
Michiganders who are not able to make mortgage payments should contact their mortgage lender right away to ask about repayment plan assistance, as they may be able to defer their payments and focus on immediate flood recovery. Borrowers who are able to make their payments should continue to do so as normal. For more information about relief for homeowners with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac-owned loans, including tools to look up whether a loan is owned by these entities, visit the Federal Housing Finance Agency website.
The Michigan financial industry organizations who have confirmed their member companies' continued commitment to assist their customers facing damage form recent floods, and who are encouraging financial institutions to support their customers, as appropriate, include:
In a joint statement, these partner organizations affirmed lender support, stating: "In response to recent flooding in Wayne and Washtenaw Counties that resulted in a national disaster declaration, we are committed to helping the impacted families stay in their homes and make necessary repairs. We live and work in these communities and our lenders will work with impacted homeowners on appropriate relief and financial solutions, which may include forbearance and loan modifications, where possible, to help them with their urgent need for flood damage remediation. Affected homeowners should contact their mortgage lender to discuss options, in addition to contacting FEMA and their insurance company."
In addition to help from their lenders, relief for homeowners may be available through state or federal programs. Federal disaster assistance is available to people in Washtenaw and Wayne counties to help with temporary housing, home repairs, and other assistance to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. Apply for assistance by registering online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585 TTY. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is also offering emergency relief assistance to low-income residents affected by recent flooding, and Michiganders can apply at Michigan.gov/MIBridges.
DIFS encourages lenders to work with impacted borrowers as appropriate and otherwise within state and federal regulatory standards. On the federal level, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has announced steps to provide regulatory relief to financial institutions and facilitate recovery in the Washtenaw and Wayne counties. The FDIC is encouraging banks to work constructively with borrowers experiencing difficulties beyond their control because of damage caused by the severe weather.
DIFS can assist consumers and businesses with questions or disputes that cannot be directly resolved with their financial institutions. Contact DIFS Monday through Friday 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.