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Minnesota banks, credit unions, offer COVID-19 mortgage help

ST. PAUL — State officials said Thursday that 31 Minnesota financial institutions have committed themselves to provide additional mortgage-relief options to homeowners facing financial hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic who don’t have federally backed mortgages.

Under the framework announced by Attorney General Keith Ellison and Gov. Tim Walz, the participating banks and credit unions have agreed to offer 90-day forbearance periods. Qualifying families won’t have to make lump-sum payments at the end of that period for what they owe. Instead the institutions will work with borrowers on repayment options. The institutions will freeze late fees for missed payments and won’t report late or missed payments to credit agencies.

“In the next few weeks, we may see a dramatic increase in the number of foreclosures and evictions,” Ellison said in a statement. “I am very pleased to announce that these banks and credit unions across Minnesota are working together to try to mitigate the damage.”

The participating financial institutions include U.S. Bank, Bremer Bank, First Security Bank, Foresight Bank and 27 credit unions across the state.

This framework is similar to agreements reached in California, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and other states.

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