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Deadline near for seeking help on federal mortgages

LANSING — The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services 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 Act but they must act before the Sept. 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 Sept. 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 have until Sept. 30 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 Dec. 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. Eastern time 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.

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