February 18th, 2009
12:58 PM ET
5 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. thomas

    Is it fair to bail out some homeowners and not others who make payments responsibly? Is it fair that some people lose their job while others who work hard don't.? Is it fair that one person earns $6.00/hour while another earns six million dollars a year? No, fairness has never driven the US economy. In order for this bailout to be fair, the U.S. would have to have been a totally Socialist government.

    February 18, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  2. Tyran

    It's simple people, are we going to blame each other, or are we gonna do something to get out of this mess. The fact of the matter is that we don't know who deserves to get thrown out of their houses and who doesn't. THEIR IS NO TIME FOR THAT NONSENSE!!!! I mean if you gonna kick Joe-blow out his house for over spending then we sure as heck better impeach George Bush for the same! What we need now is new ideas that are inacted to directly help the homeowners. Let's all stay on Obama to honor his committment to the American people and let's all stand up and help one another instead of blaming and fighting each other. United we stand, divided we fall.

    February 18, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  3. T

    What about the ones who pay their mortage on time that the interest rates are very high? Who is making it by the skin of their teeth.

    February 18, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  4. Former Republican

    I wonder if the Republicans will accept this help?

    February 18, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  5. FreeNLovIt

    To Shawm

    Obie does not need to be wrong and does not have to do foolish things. He doesnt even to experiment if he will JUST listen to the experts. He needs to figure out if he wants to be as TOUGH as Clinton or just do enough to get by.

    February 18, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  6. matthew

    Why again do we need to ensure that "people stay in their homes?" I went to 7 years of school to be an attorney, and I married another attorney - and we RENT. We rent because we haven't saved up enough to put a respectable down payment on a house yet. I'm appalled by the idea that people losing their homes is the worst thing ever. Foreclose them. Housing pricing plummet, and those of us we choose wisely can get into a home.

    February 18, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  7. karen-Phoenix

    Just what McCain wanted and he doesn't even have the where with all to show up in his own state!!! Disgusting republicans are on their way out!!!!

    February 18, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  8. kaw

    I agree with the posters who say this is a reward for those who got in over their financial heads. Even the $8000 tax credit for home purchasers was taken away from those who have a history of paying mortgages and property taxes and given only to first time buyers. Just doesn't seem right that those who can prove fiscal responsibility will carry those who can't, yet get no relief from the current economic struggle.

    February 18, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  9. FreeNLovIt

    The banks and the government failed us. The government didnt regulate and the banks were so greedy, they took in anything. As citizens, we ARE dumb. This is not rocket science. We need a coach and we need a great leader to lead the country. For the past 8 years, we were athletes without coaches. We all know that have it our way, we'll eat cake for breakfast, donuts for lunch and twinkies for dinner. Dont put MONEY decisions in the hands of your citizens. It's like giving a kid a gun. This is not ROCKET SCIENCE.

    February 18, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  10. Unemployed Republican

    When I see people complaining for being on time on their mortgages but do not get anything from the bailout it just crunch my heart.
    What a selfish country we become. Yes some people made a bad judgement getting mortgages they can not afford. Some also made a good judgment getting mortgages they can afford but the economy and lay offs push them to unsolventy. Thing about this befor you open your big mouth.
    Do you know how a virus spread? It's doen't matter who started the fire, we are trying to put out the fire first to save your solvent house as well. Then we will try to prevent futur fire of happening.

    February 18, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  11. Once you vote Black

    Great! This will help White People. In Meza, the poster child of the problem either its the 2.4% blacks to blame, or the 81% whites. 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

    February 18, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  12. Scott M

    Can I apply for a job in this new "sharp department", or is it only for the smart kids?

    February 18, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  13. Virginia

    Well, my hand is out–when will I get MY check?????

    February 18, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  14. Craig

    Its not just those buying homes they couldnt afford but the ones who could afford it but lost their jobs, or the one who saw home values fall and not worth paying all that interest for nothing, or the ones who saw their mortgages go up from inflation or the ones who saw their property taxes rise and homes are not worth the appraisals they use to calculate it.

    February 18, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  15. boered1

    @ J 9:41 am & Kevin in Ohio 9:43am and the rest of you crying aqbout this
    You are all idiots (or a radical religious rightwing republicans as if there is a difference) based on your comment. Let me explain to you why you should be happy about this.
    You own a house (or more likely live in your mom's basement and she owns the house) your neighbor cannot afford his house (a good hard working republican who works for the oil companies making record profits but was laid off so the profits will be higher like many in the last few years or one whos spouse has altzheimers and since the radical religious right has prevented stem cell research must pay enormous amounts in medical bills and can no longer afford the bills to keep the spouse alive and the house) and cannot sell the house since he ows more than it is worth due to the downturn in housing prices. The house goes into forclosure, and is sold for about half of what it was bought for (actually nation wide forclosures sell at about 80% of the original purchase price) Now YOU, the hard working radical religious rightwing republican that you are, gets transferred out of state and you try to sell your house, well all the "comps" in your area are foreclosures so YOUR house is now worth 60% of what you paid for it! But I guess since you are a member of the radical religious rightwing republican party AND you own a home (meaning you are NOT a redneck still fighting the civil war) a 60% loss will not affect you

    idiots

    February 18, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  16. Ed Barczak

    If President Obama is going to help out only a certain few, that's discrimination. So to be fair, (I know who says you have to be fair) there should be something for the people that have done it right. How about offering an incentive to the banks for negotiating any home loan, that's lowers the interest rate by 1%, not to fall below, say 4%. I would say that is fair and equitable to everyone.

    February 18, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  17. ANGIE-OH

    Hey all you naysayers. Do any of you have any ideas on how to fix the economy? the only thing you can do is bash someone that is trying to get this country back on its feet after 8 years of that stupid,ignorant, moron bush that just left office. Most people that have lost their home is because of the failed economy over the last 8 years. they are hard working people who have lost jobs throught no fault of their own. so stop and think before you start accusing people of buying homes they couldn't afford. you don't know everybodies situation.

    February 18, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  18. Jen

    SG: It is President Obama, whether you like it or not. He gets the same title as Bush. Even Bush haters still called him president or just Bush, they did not call him governor which was his previous role.

    The Dow started tanking long before President Obama took office.

    Mortgage brokers are to blame for many of these loans. Commission paid well and greed took over. Local banks and credit unions that financed their own loans and had to hold the loan on their books are still doing well enough in this economy.

    We should learn at an early age how to calculate cost:
    A car costing $20,000 over a 5 year period will be at a minimum of ($20000/60 months) $334.00 a month.

    A house should be calculated by taking the cost of the house and dividing it by .01. So a $200,000 home will cost $2000 a month. This calculation will easily cover interest, principle, taxes, insurance, savings for repairs.
    If you can not afford this amount, buy a cheaper home.

    February 18, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  19. obama-mama

    I hope as much folks that need this help will get it. All the trash talkers on here apparently don't know what it's like to lose your home....

    February 18, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  20. Kevin in Ohio

    WI Cheesehead.... no doubt Obama means well, but YES he is totally blinded by liberal dogma that has been proven time and time again to be ineffective. This is only the opening salvo of his spending spree. The result will be inflation and unemployment, just like the Carter years.

    February 18, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  21. wally

    I cannot believe the idiots that respond here. Most people were "duped" into thinking that they could afford to refinance or purchase their dream home by crooked loan brokers who put them into loans that had low payments and lots of contingencies that increased their interest rates, etc., after a period of time. Anyone who has closed a loan knows how intimidating it is to be given 2" of paperwork to signoff on without any change to review the terms...let alone for people who just didn't understand that they were getting screwed.

    Many foreclosures are due to people just losing their jobs and income. What about them? They can't refinance because they no longer have the income to support any payment.

    If the banks don't start lending to businesses that have been affected by the downturn...we're going to be in a depression before you can say Phil Graham.

    February 18, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  22. Paul

    Thank you Mr. Obama. The rich have driven this country for so long. Time for the common man....

    February 18, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  23. RJ

    I'm all for helping people who did it right and are now in a bad spot due to the economy.
    I hope that the criteria for those applying for help is very strict.
    No help for people who bought more than they could afford.
    Same thing goes for the flippers and investors They should not get any help at all.

    The one thing this will not fix is that simple fact that many will walk away from a house they are seriously upside down on.
    Why would you have your loan redone if the loan principle is higher than the homes real value?
    Many will simply walk and take the foreclosure hit in their credit report.

    February 18, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  24. Craig

    Why is it ok now for bankruptcy judges to be able to modify mortgages for lavish 2nd homes and boats but not the primary home? This new plans should fix this outrageous law and help keep people out of foreclosure. The banking lobby has always opposed this, but it costs them big time to put a house into foreclosure and the glut of these properties lowers property values in neighborhoods.

    February 18, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  25. Michigan Millionaire

    This is great! I've never missed a payment on my $268,000 mortgage, which carries a 5.75% fixed rate. I'm going to stop paying on March 1st, so I can get this new taxpayer-funded 4% rate. Thanks a lot, suckers! Long live the revolution!

    February 18, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10