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New partnership to provide Michigan borrowers 90-day mortgage-payment forbearance

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Posted at 10:17 AM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-23 17:16:01-04

(WXYZ) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) have announced a new partnership to help residents experiencing financial hardship amid COVID-19.

The creation of the MiMortgage Relief Partnership with over 200 of Michigan’s financial institutions seeks to recognize and expand upon the measures that these institutions have been taking to assist customers to ensure that no one loses their home during the public health crisis.

“No one should have to worry about losing their home during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “With the MiMortgage Relief Partnership, Michigan’s credit unions, banks, and lenders have stepped to the plate to help our residents who are suffering financial losses due to COVID-19 by providing a 90-day grace period for mortgage payments.”

Participating financial institutions have agreed that they will continue to work with their impacted residential mortgage loan borrowers in at least the following ways:

Providing affected borrowers with a 90-day grace period for all mortgage payments.

Financial institutions will offer mortgage-payment forbearance for 90 days, allowing borrowers to reduce or delay their monthly mortgage payment. In addition, the financial institutions will:

  • Provide a streamlined process for requesting forbearance for COVID-19-related reasons, supported with available documentation;
  • Confirm approval of and terms of their forbearance program (which should include reasonable solutions for resuming payments at the end of the forbearance term); and
  • Where appropriate, provide the opportunity for borrowers to extend a forbearance agreement if they continue to experience hardship due to COVID-19.

Providing relief from mortgage-related late fees and charges for 90 days.

For affected borrowers who reach an agreement with their financial institution, financial institutions will waive or refund mortgage-related late fees for at least 90 days.

Foregoing new foreclosures for 60 days.

Financial institutions will not initiate any foreclosure sales or evictions for 60 days for affected borrowers who reach an agreement with their financial institution.

Refraining from reporting adverse credit scoring information based upon the borrower’s accessing relief.

Financial institutions will not report adverse credit scoring information for affected borrowers who reach an agreement with their financial institution. Financial institutions will report other credit information consistent with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) or other federal agency guidance.

Working with borrowers on their specific needs or concerns.

If a financial institution varies from these provisions to the benefit of the borrower or to address specific borrower requests, concerns, or individual financial health, this would be deemed in the spirit of the partnership. In particular, issues surrounding escrow and tax and insurance payments may require more individualized assistance.

As of April 22, 2020, over 200 financial institutions have signed onto the partnership. Participating financial institutions are listed on the MiMortgage Relief Partnership Financial Institutions page.

“The strength of our financial system will be an important factor in how Michigan recovers economically from COVID-19,” DIFS Director Anita G. Fox said. “Through the MiMortgage Relief Partnership, financial institutions will continue to help customers find the solutions that best fit their needs, and to focus relief efforts on those most impacted by the crisis. Michigan residents who can meet their financial obligations can continue to do so, while those who need assistance will be able to work with their financial institutions to access relief.”

Michigan borrowers experiencing a financial hardship due to COVID-19 are encouraged to reach out directly to their financial institution to learn more about relief options available to them, and to work out with the institution an agreement applicable to their loan.

Borrowers are encouraged to reach out before their loan becomes delinquent. DIFS never advises borrowers to stop paying their loan payments.

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