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. Jeanne

    ok. Some people bought homes that they could not afford, and yes, I really think they shouldn't be rewarded for being irresponsible However, the value of our homes are set on the comparison prices of houses sold in our areas. So, if houses are foreclosed and auctioned, the comps go down. I would rather see these people helped out to stay in their houses, so values will stabilized and hopefully the equitity of houses will return to something that is reasonable.

    February 18, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  2. Jackie

    You cannot do this fair and square...has to be an all or nothing. What about the people that are responsible, have upside down loans, can make the mortgage but are still hurting and amost (almost being the key word) facing bankruptcy but doing everything they can not to. Many folks cannot sell or refinance unless they bring lots of money to the table which most cannot. This is really just for the banks, not homeowners.

    February 18, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  3. Republican Victim

    Why I don't understand is why is it o.k for MY and the AMERICAN PEOPLES TAX DOLLARS to go to the people of Iraq but some complain when the government is giving us OUR own tax dollars and the Republicans call it 'socialism'. I would rather my tax dollars going to help out my fellow Americans (and if you understand the bill, it is to help only those who are responsible home owners) and not people in a different country enjoying my tax dollars.

    GIVE ME A BREAK AMERICANS!!! Stop listening to the GOP who spent our money frivilously for 8 years giving Bush the green light on many of his spending initiatives but now even we are complaining when our own money is coming back to us! How sad!

    February 18, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  4. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Responsible home lending is one of the solutions. Unfortunately it will have to be accompanied by government oversight of lending institutions. Captialists can not be trusted to "do the right thing" for humanity. Their "greed" is as unhealthy as religious zealots' "faith".

    February 18, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  5. Di

    April 15 2009 Taxpayer Protest
    In protest all americans should not go to work this date. Mr. Obama won the election. We the people voted for Change. We did not understand he meant ALL OF OUR CHANGE!

    February 18, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  6. Gerry In Toronto

    Looks like help is on the way for AMerican home owners

    February 18, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. Jeff in Illinois

    I like the idea of people with bad loans having them modified to reasonable terms (not amounts changed), but for people who simply got themselves in trouble by overspending...what about the people who spent years not spending beyond their means? The people who didn't take a vacation, buy a giant LCD TV, go out to dinner 3 days a week, etc.? What about the people who made sacrifices so that they could pay their bills, even if they lost their jobs for a short time?

    In many ways, the wrong people are being rewarded. I only hope it ends up helping us all in the long-run.

    February 18, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  8. 07947

    Why do these people get to keep homes they can't afford. Homes that are probably nicer than what I live in, and I don't get squat. In fact I get to help someone else pay for thier home, while me and my family live in a small humble home where the bills get paid. Whats the benefit of being a responsible member of society?, "getting to pay for the irresponsible." And all this bailout money needs to be spent building prisons not roads. PRISONS to house corporate America and the crooks on Wall Street.

    February 18, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  9. Ray Fisher, Albuquerque, NM

    If mortgages were made and serviced locally we wouldn't have any problems but the banks & mortgage companies got greedy and sold mortgages to huge companies, foreign investors and con men so that many folks haven't a clue who is servicing their mortgages. I had a mortgage in the 1990's and virtually every payment was lost for 8 years by different servicers, It was the mortgage from hell and they allowed my ex to refi 200% of the appraised value without my knowledge so I finally lost the house, Thanks Countrywide!!! I'll never own a house again.

    February 18, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  10. sg

    Fred – I'm one of the folks who did everything right. The company I work for is going under due to the financial crisis/recession/depression so I'm losing my job. Not many job openings in my area and the thought of moving is out of the question due to depressed home sales.

    What sucks about this whole mess is that people who did do the right thing may still lose everything! Thanks to democrat social engineering and pushing subprime lending.

    February 18, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  11. WI Cheesehead

    I know Obama means well with everything that he’s doing but I hope he’s not blinded by his own vision of what this country should be. This is another outright reward for failure; I guess I’ll not get any relief for my sound decision to buy a house I can afford and keeping up my mortgage payments. Yes, of course there are many who’ve lost their jobs and can’t keep up with the bills. Then there are those who spend beyond their means should bare their own folly in addition; it’s hard for me to forget the greed by the very banks that are failing because of the foreclosures that they help create that mess with fuzzy math for the borrowers to be approved. In fairness the banks that take bailout money should have strings attached and we can all benefit from this going forward.

    February 18, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  12. Be Careful!!!!

    @J February 18th, 2009 9:41 am ET
    As a tax paying citizen for all these years I wonder if I will get a thank you card from the 9 million people who purchased a house they could not afford.***Do you realize that these people pay tax too...you can be up today and down tomorrow just maybe they lost their job or had to take a cut in pay *** Shut your Sour PUSS

    February 18, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  13. DL

    At least something is being done......Yes there should be anger about people given loans that shouldn't have received them. And the banks are at as much fault as those homeowners. But what people seem to forget is that there are many people who weren't irresponsible who are still being affected by this economy, Just because you aren't in that boat today....doesn't mean you won't be tomorrow, the rate of job loss in this country daily is beyond comprehension, and alot of those people thought they were secure to, so the people who want to scream socialism...sorry i do not agree, the plan might not work, who knows....But I for one am sick to death of the same old political bickering and positioning to take no responsibility for anything. We are going down the tubes if we don't step up and do something, so be constructive instead of acting like a bunch of spoiled brats.

    February 18, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  14. linda

    Please...we got into trouble giving mortgages to individuals who were not able to live within their means to begin with or had to have a larger home than an afforable one. Let's figure out how to help those who were responsible and not those who want it all. I worked hard for our home, pay our bills, and do not buy new cars, electronics or anything else we would like but have not budgeted for. My husband lost his job back in 2001 but we still paid our bills. Teach personal responisbility in this country and don't use my tax dollars to enable other who take the easy road.

    February 18, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  15. Di

    April 15 2009 Taxpayer Protest
    In protest all americans should not go to work this date.

    February 18, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  16. Texas Teacher

    Praise God.... I am almost one of those 9 Million. I feel like I am hanging on by my finger nails! I can only imagine what it must feel like to actually be in foreclosure.

    Robert Bock, you are so ignorant that I have no recourse but to call you one of those "I'm really comfortable republicans... .and the hell with the rest of you" My old daddy used to say about such as you ... "someone needs to grab that bozo by the neck and choke him down to the floor until he gets religion!" *LOL* I think you are one of those guys!

    February 18, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  17. mjm

    Didn't we just spend $789 billion?

    Put it on my tab?

    February 18, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  18. REF

    lets see obama has now endorsed deliquent homeowners as poor unfortunate people whom had just bad luck by buying too big of a house for what they could afford. but you and i who pay our taxes pay our housepayments on time are asked to pony up even more of our money. is this the change all you obama supporters asked for that they should not have to be responsible like 90 percent of us have to do everyday. idiots what happens when we as taxpayer run out of money or simply say enough is enough and revolt against the govt .the govt. does not have money they get it from real people like your neighbors grow up and live with your bad decisions like 90 percent of us do everyday.

    February 18, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  19. obama supporter

    Look people all of you who keep whinning we are helping people who were irresponsible, well first of all a lot of these people were taken by the banks and mrtg companies so they can make money. Stop your criticism people are hurting out there. Yes some may have been irresonsible but the majority were not. Everybody can't be perfect like you haters.

    February 18, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  20. Jarrod

    I hate to say it, but most of you miss the point. Yes, I too have never missed a payment, and budget very carefully. But as millions lose thier home, it affects us anyway, less property tax collected hurts schools, police , and community. Your property value goes down as your street becomes empty. the socialism arguement is null and void. If we were all as disconnected as you think, then millions losing jobs and homes wouldnt affect you. As it is, it has. I work retail on commission, I know, people are not buying. So it affects all of us. We can keep these people in homes, or bleed the money through empty foreclosed neighborhoods. Either way, its going to affect us. Keeping people in thier homes at least gives us a tax base to build on.

    February 18, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  21. Hill the jobseller

    What isnt being said is how many of these people were home flippers out to make a fortune.I know someone that bought 10 homes and flipped them and paid off his mortgage without ever using a dollar of his own cash.He now lives in a mansion.He said you had to be fast and know just when to sell.Many people teying it got caught with a bag full of homes.

    February 18, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  22. K

    I hate the idea of a housing bailout, having recently bought a house the right way (down payment, understanding the loan, etc), but the fact of the matter is that not doing anything could easily result in more pain than this bailout plan. Are the people who attack the plan without any alternative seriously prepared for thousands of Americans to become homeless? Have you really thought through what that would mean for our society?

    February 18, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  23. Independent Paul

    This is crap. Why did i buy within my means (which isn't much), keep up my payments by not buying a flatscreen tv (i still have my tv i got in 1999 from college), and doing everything right? I am getting screwed.

    I bought in 2005, and my condo is worth 30k less today. The only way i will have recourse is by not paying my mortgage for 4 months and screwing my credit for a long time. What recourse do I have?

    How about this, allow people with ARMs to convert directly to 30 yr mortgages. This can only be done today if you have an FHA mortgage. This would help a lot of people out.

    February 18, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  24. Ohio Man

    @ WI Cheesehead

    well said ..... i agree

    February 18, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  25. Lisa T

    Rick: "When will Obama and the rest of the Democrates get, the people dont want the stimulus and they know your bailout WILL NOT WORK. Take a good look at the spiral and tell me how do you make jobs in a bad economy. TAX CUTS TO BUSINESSES PUT PEOPLE TO WORK."

    Rick, let me try to explain how the American economy truly works in terms that you can understand:
    We are a consumer based economy. When consumers have money they buy "things". When we buy enough "things", the businesses have the demand to make more "things". In order for the business to make enough "things" to satisfy demand, they must hire more employees. When those employees are paid livable wages, they buy more "things" and so the economy goes. The republicans think trickle down policies work and they don't! Let's humor ourselves and follow your logic. Give the businesses bigger tax breaks so that they can hire more employees. Pay those employees really low wages to keep the overhead down. Build/create a lot of "things" and sell them to whom? The underpaid employees who can barely afford their bills and have no left over money for "things"? So what do you have as a result?...Businesses who now have a surplus of "things" that they cannot sell because the average "joe" doesn't have left over money. As a result, the businesses must lay off employees because there is no demand for their "things". The unemployment rate soars, businesses shutter their doors and what?...we all live happily ever after?????

    February 18, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
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