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. Jon


    The democrats have just spent about $1 trillion in a month. Granted, I don't like what the republicans did either, but we aren't helping ourselves continuing to spend. It seems like anybody could understand that. Like Winston Churchill said, we can't "tax ourselves into prosperity".

    February 18, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  2. Danny in Chicago

    YES, conservatism needs to DIE!

    Let's look forward – not backward!

    There is a very good reason why god placed are eyes in our face and not in the back of our heads!

    Am I right?

    Can I get a hallelujah?

    Liberals Unite!

    Go back under your rock conservatives! You ARE part of the past – get use to it.

    February 18, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  3. Don in Albuquerque

    Write John McCain and see if he is willing to help you. He certainly was not last week!

    February 18, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. Baze

    Tell McCain, he thinks the fundamentals of the economy are sound.

    February 18, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  5. Kathy

    I beg to differ!!! The Dems, in my opinion are responsible for this housing mess. Get Reid, Dodd, Frank and Pelosi out ASAP, then maybe we will have some positive CHANGE.

    February 18, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  6. Mary Miller

    Would be poster child if Senator McCain was not so against the Stimulus Package. He is doing his constituents a disservice with his curmudgeonly actions.

    February 18, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |


    February 18, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  8. Matthew

    You two uninformed can blame whomever you want.

    Barney Frank and Chris Dodd caused this morgage downturn.

    Poor minorities were allowed to buy houses that they could not afford in the first place. They should not have been given loans with a 540 credit score. These people should have continued renting. Now they got screwed by the party who said they would protect them.

    Frank and Dodd refused to fix it.

    February 18, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  9. Ace007

    There were no Conservative in the WH, they were Republican.

    February 18, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. Brian

    Please stop this us vs. them attittude. We had ONE balance budget in the last 30 years. Our problem is that over the last 100 years, we've created a federal government that has moved beyond upholding the standards of liberty and moved into the realm of fiscal policy. Does anyone know how the federal government spends our money? Even the house and senate admitted that they didn't read the whole bill. The "transparent" website recovery.gov is a joke – PLEASE tell me where the money is going. Also, I know the state budget problems have much to do with how state governments manage their funds, but shouldn't we bail the states out first? California – needs to cut $42 billion -that's only 5% of the overall spending bill. In CA alone (and I'm from the midwest), that would save 15,000 jobs immediately and create thousands more in the coming years. Bottom line, I don't care who is at fault, lets just stop the bleeding.

    February 18, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  11. sg

    I bet if you look at the political affiliation of most people in foreclosure you'll find that they are liberal dems. These are Sen Obama's flock and he's going to take money from the conservative folks who did the right thing and give it to the useless libs and dems.

    February 18, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  12. John

    Isn't Arizona represented by McCain and his poodle wife who had a full arm cast after she shook hands at a political rally last year. So...what's up with your state McCain, are you driving with your eyes closed while your poodle picks your nose because you have poor finger dexterity. The republicans did this to every American who is hurting right now. The republicans are the unpatriotic Americans who cater to the pink fleshed rich aka republican veal.

    February 18, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. Matthew

    Clinton 1.7 Trillion in 8 years added to the national debt

    Bush 2.5 Trillion in 8 years added to the national debt

    Barack 350 billion Tarp, 1 trillion banking buyout, 800 billion stimulus, 50-100 billion in mortgage buyout.. 14 billion to automotive, This is in the first 2 years added to the national debt = 2.2 trillion in 2 years.
    It is already being estimated that Barack will add 4 trillion in national debt in his 4 years in office.

    Please Stop Spending. Please Stop all the Doomsday.

    February 18, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  14. STEVE R

    To Danny in Chicago

    Get out of my country.......if that is how you feel then you dont understand what democracy is all about. I suggest
    Canada, Russia, Cuba (the weather is better than Chicago) and maybe even Zimbabwe. Would we all be better off if we took notes from your beloved Blago?

    Oh yeah, Jane, where have you been, read the news. The repubs left us in a trillion dollar debt did they? I was just reading that Obama has adden andother 3/4 trillion

    you both are a sad example of hate and have shown an extreme inability to listen and comprimise. Hugo and his 20 year revolution is looking for help I think. dummies

    February 18, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  15. Snake eyes


    February 18, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  16. bsmith171

    how many are 2nd and 3rd houses?

    February 18, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  17. Death of America by Obama

    scumbag obama...........you're not going to help people in this country.You're going to end up burying them.

    February 18, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  18. elo

    Please give me a break...Obama is just laying foundations for second term in 2010.....Its just a great way to steal arizona from the conservative wings

    February 18, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  19. Brian

    As someone who has always lived within his means and wasn't leveraged to the hilt during the economic boom, I'm totally paying cash for a cheap house in Mesa.

    All you people — the rich and the poor — who threw your money around like the good times would never end are fools. My only aggravation is that now we all have to pay for the excess of these imbeciles.

    February 18, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  20. cm

    Can you people wait for the REAL details on the plan and how the qualification process will go, what we see right now is just the general quidelines or talking points.
    In reality most loans is states like California, Arizona, Nevada are in the tank housing price is down 30-50% since a year ago and home owners will not have the 105% CLTV to qualify for start, now what about credit rating-if this is one of the parameters people having problem paying thier mortgages most likely don't have a good fico score and they may be behind on other bills because of reduced income or lost of a job. There is to many details not known at this time we have to wait until March 4 and see who qualifies for this plan.
    CNN I hope you publish this post, is not a criticism to President Obama's plan is just reality.

    February 18, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  21. rena


    Clinton left the office with a trillion dollar surplus. What are you talking about? Bush used that and didn't stop until he lead us into this grave recession. Please don't blame the squandering of Bush on the current President. He is trying to dig us out of this hell hole Bush has put us in.

    It amazes me how you people seem to have such a short memory span when it comes to the conservatives claiming to be so independent and conservative when it has been your party that has voted yes to every bill that came across Bush desk. Now, you want to act if though they had nothing to do with the current economic disaster. They created this disaster. Bush remember just left out of office with a 850B dollar bailout, do you remember? Oh, I forgot you got your check and just like Bush walk away as if though you didn't take anything from the American people. Surprise, Surprise to all the so called conservatives. Did you take that stimulus check last year? Then I guess your not as conservative as you thought. Stop being a hypocrite.

    Unfortunately, for the American people we vote but have no control over what those fools in Washington do, they will do what they want with the American payers tax dollars and there's not a darn thing we can do about it, but do what we are doing everyday on the blog, ramping and raving over how we have been dupted by Washington over and over. We are doomed either way. Get use it!

    February 18, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  22. obama-mama

    Isn't this milk boy McCain's state? I don't think he'll take the help since he's so against everything his president does. I wonder if Milk Boy and Plastic Patsy need a bailout?

    February 18, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  23. thefletch

    just another dem pushing a vote buying scheme. nothing new here!

    February 18, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  24. No Hillary = No Obama

    Here he is again – grandstanding. I think we have 4 years of a guy who needs to be in the spotlight by introducing us to his grandiosity.

    February 18, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  25. M

    For all of you who want to blame poor minorities for this foreclosure mess, we wouldn't bending the rules for the sake on incisiveness if disparities in education and employment didn't exist. If we tried harder to create a society that gives every child a fair chance, we would need to make allowance. STOP BLAMING MINORITIES for the corruption and greed in our society. That is a sorry excuse.

    February 18, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
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