February 18th, 2009
12:58 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama seeks to aid 9 million homeowners

The President announced his plan to help struggling homeowners at an event in Arizona Wednesday.

The President announced his plan to help struggling homeowners at an event in Arizona Wednesday.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - President Obama unveiled a $75 billion multi-pronged plan Wednesday that seeks to help up to 9 million borrowers suffering from falling home prices and unaffordable monthly payments.

Watch: Obama unveils housing plan

The long-awaited foreclosure fix marks a sharp departure from the Bush administration, which relied mainly on having servicers voluntarily modify troubled mortgages.

Obama, on the other hand, will make it easier homeowners to afford their monthly payments either by refinancing the mortgages or having their loans modified. The president is vastly broadening the scope of the government rescue by focusing on homeowners who are still current in their payments but at risk of default. And he puts billions of federal funds into enticing servicers to modify the loans of those who've already stopped paying.

Updated 12:58 p.m.

Full story

Filed under: Economy • President Obama
soundoff (247 Responses)
  1. A little sad

    People are up in arms about homeowners who "bought more house than they can afford".

    However, the people I kow who are in trouble are the ones who did not buy "more house than they can afford", but bought ones they could afford at the height of the market. They are now "underwater" and cannot get out from under their mortgages by selling.

    Some are part of the 3rd layoff in my old company in 3 months, who diligently put aside 6 months in cash for rainy times. They are not finding new jobs, and they will not be able to pay their mortgages starting around May or so. They did everything they were 'supposed to', but it didn't protect them.

    I don't like all the money going into this program, but I like the alternatives less.

    February 18, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  2. Bob, Atlanta, GA

    200 hours of community service should be mandatory for all those receiving help. At least the responsible folks will get cleaner roads out of the deal.

    February 18, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  3. Marie-NC

    Give the man a break! atleast he is trying to keep us from having the domino effect. I lost my home in 2008 paid my mortgage on time for 15 years never late. I retired ,income went down, because I had a ballon loan I had to refinance. no one would give me a break because of my retirement..Not even the bank that held the mortgage.So some of these people that are losing there homes are not irresponsible. I applaud him for his efforts. I wish he had been President while I was in my home. If this mortgage mess isn't fixed we are all going down.

    February 18, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  4. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Like a lot of other people commenting in this forum, I'm outraged by this idiocy. Those of us who responsibly manage our money and buy only houses we can afford get screwed in taxes while the irresponsible bums get bailouts.

    February 18, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  5. Baaaa... Baaaa... Baaaa ......

    Aaaaahhhhh nothing I enjoy more than making my monthly mortage payment...... except maybe paying other peoples mortage payment's.... makes me feel all warm and fuzzy in a liberal kind of way!!!

    God Help Us

    February 18, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. roger in ga

    My house was built in 1992 and the last payment was made on the loan on March 30, 2008. I need a bailout too so I can get back some of that money and I need a golden parachute also just incase I run out of money before I die.

    WOW if you cannot pay for it. sell it for whatever you can get and move out and rent. If you cannot rent, move near a stream and set up a tent.

    February 18, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  7. Sam Sixpack


    I'm just as stupid and greedy as the folks who signed on for those adjustable rate mortgages.

    I'm just as broke as anybody and I need my government handout so I can quit work and stay drunk.

    February 18, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  8. Firth Davenport

    Let me get this straight – not only do I have to keep up on my mortgage payments but now what I pay in taxes is going to help someone else with their mortgage payments? Does this mean I now have two mortgages? Does this mean I can get a tax break for having to carry two mortgages? I do not agree with this plan at all. I live in a very modest (some say cozy) home that is within my means. Whether employed or unemployed, I have always kept up my mortgage payments. We do not need to give those who overshot both mortgage help and increased unemployment benefits.

    And BTW – I am a liberal too (not a right wing nut case).

    February 18, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  9. Dean in Florida

    This is yet another step toward what will result in armed revolution. True Americans, get ready...

    February 18, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  10. Marie-NC

    Correction I lost my home in 2007 not 2008.My bad!

    February 18, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  11. Beverly, NYC

    fred February 18th, 2009 9:50 am ET : Did you read the full story? Nowhere did it mention paying off mortgages.

    February 18, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  12. Dawn

    ok all you bloggers, Remember the bailout in September where McCain had to suspend his Campaign to fly back to D.C. Where they pushed through a 700 Billion dollar Bailout was suppose to help these people who were loosing their shirts. Your 401k, Money Market and Stock Markets plunged. They gave them 350 billion to help stablize the market. So where is the MONEY!

    The second 350 Billion was not dispursed yet and what I get this is suppose to be dispursed, but will this help?

    So instead of blaming Obama for the screw up in that Bailout, so...

    February 18, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  13. Leah from FL

    For everyone who hates the idea of this plan, what's the alternative if NO action is taken? Total collapse of the American economy AND a tsunami that ripples across the entire world. Maybe you like the idea of living in a nation that is like current third world countries? America has to do this to avoid total collapse of the American financial system – we don't like if – but the idea of world wide economic disaster is not a better solution if nothing is done. And by the way, please – put your anger towards the last administration who allowed America to get into this shape – not the one who is working against much critisism to resolve a crisis unlike any other.

    February 18, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  14. Tina, NC

    Let's just go ahead and save the Republicans some time today.

    Obama is a socialist. Blah, blah, blah. A Marxist. Blah, blah, blah. Tax Cuts. Blah, blah, blah. Welfare state. Blah, blah, blah. Rush said.....blah, blah, blah. Palin is hot! Blah, blah, blah.

    One thing you got to give to the Republicans, they are predictable.

    February 18, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  15. welches, oregon

    Pay attention tolks – this is what TRUE leadership looks like – truly trying to help the middle and lower income people instead of wealthy connections.

    Thank you President Obama – you are Truly the People's President.

    February 18, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  16. Robin

    MAKE the bank refinance at a lower rate and instead of 20 or 30 years, give them a 40 year. That way they can afford the payment, and American's don't have to foot the bill.

    February 18, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  17. Chauncey Grizzly

    Kevin in Ohio, I'm sorry it doesn't work that way.

    That scenario only applies, in theory, to make self-important neo-cons seem victimized by not just our new administration, but the American people.

    But that's how Republicans look at the rest of the population; a drain on their "hard-earned" money. If you were to pay no taxes I'm sure you'd be happy. Or if it was a Republican spending the money on something other than those in financial trouble, it's okay, apparently.

    Better yet, it's weird to think that after making such a mess at Jr. Bush's eight-year birthday party, you want to stay around and tell the cleaning crew how to do their job.

    Just go home and shake your fist at the liberal media. It's great for your high blood pressure.

    February 18, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  18. Sam Sixpack

    $75,000,000,000 / 9,000,000 = $8,333 per mortgage

    I thought the ARMs were a bad idea and I didn't get one; but, honest, I'm just as stupid as anybody - where's my $8,333?

    February 18, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  19. Kevin

    I have to agree with all the people who do it the right way. What do we get out of this, high taxes? I know several people who bought homes they couldn't afford and now they are crying, "why me?" If you were dumb enough to buy something you couldn't afford, I don't feel sorry for you. I have worked hard for what I have, done things the right way. Now the government and Obama want to give handouts to people that are irresponsible. Reward people that do it the wrong way. THIS IS CRAZY. I guess that I am going to stop making my mortgage payment too.

    February 18, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  20. John

    Excuse me,
    Hey. I spent 5 years searching for my house. And when I bought, I got a fixed interst rate and I'm fine. Many of the loan agents that I ran into were sharks. Often they tried to convince me to get interest only loan or adjustable rate. The people at Remax even had a little book that teaches 5 year olds how to buy realestate.
    She said, "A lot of people worry about paying too much[for their home]..., as she turns the page, "Don't Worry. The bank won't let you pay too much." It was a total crock. They had phone banks and everything. Don't blame the poor guy. Blame the banks who stacked the decks.
    I say, give everyone a 3-5 year Mortgage Intrest Tax CREDIT that then reverts back to a deduction. It stimulates realestate and helps ALL homeowners. Encourages people to buy, and encourages people to stay in their own home. If you sell within 5 years, you have to repay the profit caused buy the tax credit.
    By the way, what responsible homeowners get [those like me, who paid every month] is a solvent real estate market to sell your home. Face it. You gotta help even the irresponsible, or it brings us ALL down. Grow up everyone.

    February 18, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  21. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Banks made loans to people who couldn't afford them. Borrowers bought more house than they could afford. None of this is my problem. These people and institutions made poor decisions and should now live with them. What ever happened to personal responsibility in America. It's not the government's job to protect everyone from the consequences of bad decisions.

    February 18, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  22. s

    i think everyone needs to think about how much your house losing value each day that other person in your neighborhood goes into foreclousre. if the market continues going down, your mortgages that you are paying off wont be worth the money they are written on. Being negative isnt going to solve the problem, but instead we all need to be trying to work together to think up a real solution.

    February 18, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  23. Florida Joe

    Dan from Kitchener

    You are RIGHT ON....these banks take taxpayer money and then charge outrageous rates to lend it out..........Regulation of the Credit Card industry will solve a lot of issues

    February 18, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  24. GOP = Geriatric Obstructionist Pityparty

    To the dittoheads blabbin' about 9 million people that could not afford the homes they bought.

    Most of the resets that started the housing problem have worked through the market. Even, if not, with mortgage rates so low, the reset rate would actually be LESS than the initial teaser rate.

    The 9 million predicted to lose their homes over the next 4 years, will be due to unemployment NOT the subprime rates resetting to a price the homeowner cannot afford.

    Try to keep current on the issue and not just repeat repub sound bites.

    February 18, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  25. BT

    I'd rather see the money go to the people of our country than the banks!

    As for those of you who continue to say that the people in trouble bought more than they could afford, that is only PARTLY true.

    We know good people who LOST THEIR JOBS through no fault of their own, spent their savings making mortgage payments and finally realized it was hopeless when they could not find any job paying more than $7.00 and hour.

    The problem is people need JOBS to pay their bills. Good jobs.

    February 18, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
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