LANSING, Mich. (8/6/10)--Roughly 200 credit unions are helping Michigan homeowners through the “Helping Hardest-Hit Homeowners Fund,” which launched July 12. The $154.5 million program aims to help Michigan homeowners who are receiving unemployment compensation, who have fallen behind in their mortgage payments or taxes due to a temporary layoff or medical emergency, or who can no longer afford their mortgage payments due to lower income. The program is expected to help 17,000 Michigan homeowners avoid foreclosure. Dort FCU, Flint, Mich., was the first financial institution in the program to help a struggling homeowner, according to the Michigan Credit Union League. Nineteen individual credit unions are participating so far, in addition to 180 credit unions represented by credit union service organizations Member First Mortgage and Mortgage Center. Participating banks number around 35. There is no limit on the number of lenders that can participate. Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The funds are expected to last 12 to 18 months. For a list of lenders, use the link.