Michigan homeowners have been hit particularly hard by the foreclosure crisis. Federal money is now available through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) to stop foreclosures and keep Michiganders in their homes.
What is Step Forward Michigan?
The State of Michigan has received nearly 500 million dollars in Federal Hardest Hit Funds from the United States Government in order to help homeowners stay in their homes. These funds are available for a number of programs and once the funds are exhausted they will no longer be available to homeowners.
Step Forward has three active Homeowner Loan Programs which will pay up to $30,000 to mortgage servicers, county treasurers or condominium associations. The loans have a 0% interest rate, no monthly payments and the full amount is forgivable in five years as long as the homeowner continues to occupy the home.
Unemployment Mortgage Subsidy Program
Receiving unemployment? This program provides mortgage assistance payments while you’re unemployed.
In order to qualify for this program, the homeowner must meet 1 of the following 3 requirements: (1) receive Michigan unemployment benefits, (2) exhaust all unemployment benefits in the last 12 months, OR (3) receive a 20% or greater reduction of income.
Loan Rescue Program
Behind on your mortgage and need help catching back up?
In order to qualify for this program, the homeowner must meet ALL of the following 3 requirements: (1) homeowner must be delinquent on mortgage, taxes or condo fees (2) delinquency was caused by an involuntary hardship (3) homeowners’ income was reduced by 20% or more.
Modification Plan Program
In order to qualify for this program, the homeowner must meet 1 of the following 2 requirements: (1) Home has significant negative equity (more than 115% loan to value ratio) OR (2) Mortgage payment is unsustainable (greater than 45% to income ratio) that is caused by an involuntary hardship.
Step Forward Michigan can help Michigan homeowners who have a hardship if they meet the following requirements:
- You must be a Michigan resident and legal US Citizen or legal alien
- There must be a qualifying hardship (job loss, reduction of gross income, medical condition, death, divorce, disability, one-time critical expense, etc. MSHDA FAQ)
- The property must be your primary residence
- Your cash reserves must be less than $10k
Michigan’s Hardest Hit Fund is available to Michigan homeowners who are current or delinquent on their mortgages. Even Michigan residents who have filed for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection may be eligible for the Step Forward assistance. Our office specializes in consumer bankruptcy and can help you get the proper acknowledgement or authorization needed from the Bankruptcy Court or Trustee.
How to Apply
You can apply for Step Forward online at stepforwardmichigan.org by creating an account. The website has a guide to walk you through the process with questions and goes over what information you’ll need. You’ll print the application and submit it with the other required documents.
Watch out for people trying to take advantage of you. Anybody can help you fill out the paperwork but they can’t charge the homeowner for the help. The person applying must sign the documents and answer any further questions about their application. You’ll need to give written approval before information can be shared with a third party.
You can also call 866-946-7432 if you don’t have access to a computer and internet.
Using Step Forward Michigan to Your Advantage
Lots of our clients come in who have lost their job or received reduced hours and are unable to make payments towards their home. Whether they are past due on a mortgage, property taxes, or condominium fees, Step Forward Michigan may be able to help.
Step Forward is a great option for clients that is often overlooked in favor of loan modifications through lenders. We encourage our clients to apply for Step Forward funds before they are exhausted in the next two years. Step Forward Michigan offers assistance online or by calling 866-946-7423.