Help is here for Michigan residents concerned about keeping their homes
As residents across the state look optimistically toward planning for the future and economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, many homeowners and renters who have been dealt severe financial blows by the pandemic are wondering the same thing: Will I be able to keep my home?
If you’re worried about your financial situation and how it might impact your ability to keep your home, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority can help.
MSHDA’s vision is to make Michigan a place where all people have quality affordable housing as a foundation to reach their full potential. This involves overseeing and managing several state and federal programs and services intended to keep residents in their homes.
In short, it can connect you with the right people to find the right solution for your situation.
If you’re having trouble paying your monthly mortgage, the first and most important call you can make is to your mortgage company or loan servicer to discuss your options.
Homeowners also may find some relief from tax foreclosures due to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s signed executive order that extended the tax foreclosure deadline to May 29. The governor also recently announced the MiMortgage Relief Partnership, which provides a 90-day grace period for payments, or possibly reduced payments, to those struggling financially.
While these programs provide homeowners with some temporary relief, it’s important to use the extra time provided by these initiatives to get your finances in order.
Taking a proactive approach now can save lots of time, headaches and stress in the future. It can also allow you time to determine what options are available to you and the best way to proceed.
For instance, perhaps you qualify for a forbearance, which is an alternative for homeowners facing possible foreclosure.
Forbearance is an agreement between the homeowner and mortgage lender that temporarily delays payments. These delayed payments are still due, but the forbearance allows the homeowner to plan to get current over a specified time.
By acting now, you can determine if you qualify for forbearance and what actions must be taken to secure one.
Schedule an appointment with a housing counselor
Still have questions? MSHDA has a statewide network of housing counselors who can help.
All MSHDA housing counselors are certified through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Housing counseling can address your financial situation and help you avoid deepening financial losses and debts due to the COVID-19 crisis. It can also provide assistance in negotiating credit card payments and collections; addressing income, credit, and debt issues; and figuring out student loan options.
In some cases, the counselors will negotiate directly with mortgage lenders or provide information on additional resources.
If you’re facing foreclosure, housing counselors can also help you understand changes in Michigan foreclosure laws due to the pandemic and how to navigate the current moratorium on foreclosures and evictions. For those who rent or own a mobile home, housing counselors can work directly with landlords to stave off eviction.
Make MSHDA your housing resource
MSHDA operates with your best interests at heart. Always.
MSHDA has a robust network of resources, programs and services to help you attain safe, affordable housing; make necessary improvements to your property; and stay in your home when the going gets tough — regardless of whether those tough times are caused by a job loss, an illness or other unforeseen circumstances. MSHDA is here to help.
Mary Townley serves as director of homeownership for the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. More information on MSHDA is available on its website, michigan.gov/mshda. To find a housing counselor near you, visit michigan.gov/housingeducationlocator. The state of Michigan’s guidance and response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis is available at michigan.gov/coronavirus.
Members of the editorial and news staff of The Detroit News were not involved in the creation of this content.