February 18th, 2009
09:34 AM ET
9 years ago

Mesa, Arizona: Poster child for foreclosure

The president unveils his plan to battle foreclosures today.

The president unveils his plan to battle foreclosures today.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - President Obama will unveil his foreclosure prevention plans in Mesa, Ariz., on Wednesday. It's an appropriate place to talk about the U.S. mortgage-default problem: More than half the homes for sale in this sprawling suburban town are distressed properties.

In choosing Arizona, the president ventures to a state suffering from high foreclosure numbers: It had the third-highest rate of foreclosure filings in the nation during 2008, according RealtyTrac, which compiles foreclosure statistics.

Mesa itself, as Mayor Scott Smith often remarks, is the biggest city in the country that nobody knows. It's a young, sprawling bedroom community of Phoenix that has grown explosively since the end of World War II. With 452,933 residents as of July 1 2007, it's now the 38th largest city in the nation: bigger than Cleveland, St. Louis or Oakland.

"Mesa is the largest suburban city in the country," said Scott Butler, the city's director of government relations, "and it's symbolic of how the suburbs have been impacted by foreclosures."

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. Former Republican

    Do not give the Republicans any of this money!

    February 18, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  2. Sniffit

    Here come the GOP blog-trolls blabbering about the use of Air Force 1.

    February 18, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  3. ZANE

    Arizonia's Senator McCain has the worst foreclosure rate in the entire United States. ......and it's President Obama who has to clean his state up for him. McCain has no solutions, just criticism.

    February 18, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  4. kara

    Arizonia is John McCain state. What in the world happened? Where is the Maverick????????

    February 18, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  5. katiec

    Gosh, sometimes comments do not even get to your censorship

    February 18, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  6. Trent

    this is what a Maverick can do/did for you!

    February 18, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  7. MDM-Real VA

    Please tell me Senator John McCain is going to refuse any and all Stimulus moneys for his state and the homeowners in Arizona... now that is sticking by yoru principles.

    The Republicans are full of crap. I say all of the Senators should refuse the money for their states and citizens if they believe it is soooo wrong!

    February 18, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  8. JADE

    Poor Arizonia, they relied on John McCain to pull them thru. McCain still doesn't have a plan, but he continues to fault Obama. Good luck Arizonia!

    February 18, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  9. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Move to Mesa folks....the city has no property tax thanks to the local voters, so guess what services get cut?

    February 18, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  10. chuck


    February 18, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  11. Michael from ALabama

    Why isn't anyone addressing the fact that Mortgage companies would rather sell a $190,000.00 home at auction for $49,000.00 than work with troubled homeowners. How much money do these guys want to loose? Wouldn't be better to to offer longer terms of financing, say 40 years, and if your credit has been historically good, maybe a break on interest. After all home values are determined by sale price. Again the banks, mortgage and finance companies are the problem. They won't even talk, till your home is a good as lost. The answer is to get the payment down to a level that homeowners can afford.

    February 18, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  12. karen-Phoenix

    Where McCain? He wanted some help for homeowners and President Obama is delivering less than 30 days after he took office and he is doing it in McCain's own backyard!!! You'd think McCain would have the smarts to at least be nice to the PRESIDENT of the United States!!!

    February 18, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  13. dishonest politicans

    we should send all illegals back to their own country, and the ones that are legal should pay the same amount of taxes that we have to pay, (fair is fair.)

    February 18, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  14. ANGIE-OH

    Does old man mcsame even know this about his state? probably not. he is too busy bashing President Obama on the stimulus package. Yet he doesn't have a guess on how to fix the ecomony.

    February 18, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  15. Foreclose the state

    Let's foreclose on the entier city of Mesa – turn the homes into military barrackes, and bring all our troops home and statio them here.

    Let's then take all the deadbeats that bought homes in Mesa they could not afford from day #1; give those folks a uniform and a rifle, and ship them over to Afghanistan

    February 18, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  16. Vern

    Arizona? Isn't this John McCain country?! The same guy that is so critical of Obama!?..mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

    February 18, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  17. LuckyLady

    I wonder what Mr. "I'm going to supsend my campaign"/ I have a better stimulus proposal than President Obama and the Democats – McCain has to say about this?

    February 18, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  18. Once you vote Black

    I thought black folks were to blame for this mess. How can Meza be the poster child. There are hardly any black people there. Rush must be wrong or something. Check out the facts: The racial make-up of the city was 81.6% White, 2.4% Black or African American, 2.2% Native American, 2.00% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 9.3% from other races, and 1.30% from two or more races. 24.0% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

    If this is the case it must be that 81.6% that is driving the problem. How can Rush blame this on us?

    February 18, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  19. Hill the jobseller

    Mesa,the home of thousands of home flippers,both individuals and organized profiteers that got no money down loans.Many didnt get out in time and got caught holding the bag on scores of homes.Why should we have to pay for their greed?

    February 18, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  20. Wal

    The “Tax-cut ideology” is bankrupting almost all states in the country. Instead of championing the fair and appropriate tax rate State governors to be reelected were following the past eight years of the “Tax-cut ideology”. We saw the consequence now with federal and states deficit.
    Who will pay for this wrongly ideology... the firefighter, the policeman and the grand-ma in nursing home, the Education ….Not the top 1%
    Did you said who will take the blame…ask to news media... No one care...

    February 18, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  21. Paul

    God speed Mr. Obama, I am here in Arizona waiting to hear from ya...

    February 18, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  22. Sharon

    Someone needs to look into how many of those houses in Arizona that are in trouble or foreclosure are actually inhabited by the owners. Alot of those homes are owned by real estate investors from California planning to make big profits on their sales. 100% financing; get some smuck in Arizona to pay you rent and then sell it in a couple of years making LOTS of money. My brother-in-law bought 3 houses in Arizona for just that purpose. When the housing market slowed, a lot of these folks just let the houses go...walking away with minimal out-of-pocket loses.

    February 18, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  23. S Callahan

    Not trying to be negative but to give some thought...
    it's also symbolic of the greed ....get more have more...
    yet failing to nourish what's more important...
    The time of David told us the 2nd Psalm:
    Kiss the son , lest he be angry, and you be destroyed in your own way
    for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
    Blessed are those who take refuge in him.

    Putting ones priorities in order seems to be the real story.

    February 18, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  24. R in Maine

    Is Arizona of those areas that McCain has said is undeserving of federal help and should be left to go bankrupt? How many of his houses are in foreclosure now? He cannot seem to do anything for his own people. Why should we want to have him spread that misery to the whole country? He should stop whining and help.

    February 18, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  25. Laughing @ Liberal Flock

    Please! Mesa has many strengths? That is one of the worst places to live in the Phoenix metro area...next to Glendale and Central Phoenix! The comment about the city's main drag? They must have toured East Mesa! That is where all of the new housing was built.

    The older parts of Mesa are in horrible shape. The crime is unbelievable...so bad that Sheriff Joe Arpaio felt it necessary to go into Mesa and enforce State and Federal immigration laws.

    In my opinion, the housing crisis in Mesa is a blessing in disguise. This will actually HELP clean that town up!

    February 18, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
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