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. Debbie

    Please google 60 minutes and go to the video section and watch the video titled World of Trouble. There are many people who were DUPED into signing onto these mortgages so the banks could rake in millions.

    February 18, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  2. chuck tulsa

    Let see what the “Got nO Plan” party has to say about this. Oh yeah, they are now the party of hope. They are hoping the country turns into a third world nation so they can retain power.

    I'll bet this won't get posted............

    February 18, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  3. Obama is destroying us !!

    Congratulations responsible citizens not only do you get to pay for your house but with your tax dollar you get to pay for the irresponsible. That is the American Way – you get to pay and pay and pay for those who sit on their lazy butts – have countless children – do drugs – and never work. People bought homes that they could not afford – used their welfare checks has proof of income – with poor credit ratings – and were able to get homes because of congressmen and women such as Maxine Waters and Barney Franks – who advocated easy loans to ever thing that moved. The Democrats have been incharge of congress for over two years now – they are and have been part of the problem – they are transferring the wealth – and within a short period of time they will have destroyed this country.

    February 18, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  4. Serena Carmel, Greensboro, NC

    This is really helping the banks, giving them money to modify mortgages. They will just extend the term, collect more interest, and collect government money. Give the money to the homeowners so they can pay the banks. Give it to those who lost their homes.

    Or use the money to recompense the banks for interest they lose

    February 18, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  5. 228rory

    Dean.

    That is a fantastic analogy. Way to put it.

    February 18, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. Esther in Fl

    @ sam six pack
    $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?

    If you look at it like this that is between 3 to 6 months reserves; which is what you need in order to get an FHA refi or purchase!

    February 18, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  7. Kathy

    For those of you who are worried about the federal debt load on our children and grandchildren, especially in light of all this new government spending-–

    I would rather my descendants have a federal debt to pay Uncle Sam then have them live in a country racked with violent social chaos.

    Chaos leads to fascism. The USA would disappear from the planet.

    February 18, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  8. Cynthia

    BETH- your patience is wearing thin already? The man hasn't been in office a month yet. You say you are willing to give him a chance but after a month you are already at you wits end!!!!

    February 18, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  9. Ann Watson

    Not a comment but a question, please. I received an e-mail about a bill supposedly in Congress that gives any and everything you can think of to illegal immigrants. It shows your commentator saying that one congressman stated that the bill "is a piece of Sh*#. Is this for real? Is there such a bill?

    February 18, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  10. BeefyDaddy

    Let the housing market fall. Real estate pricing was inflated. That was part of the problem. Artificially propping up house values will not solve the problem – it will just make it worse!

    I am a proud liberal. But I rent because I could not afford to live in a nice house in my neighborhood and legitimately pay the appropriate mortgage. And now that pricing is finally getting back to where it should be and I can start to think about re-entering the real estate market, they want to keep home values inflated. Fake values – whether credit default swaps or housing prices or cooked accounting books – are just that…FAKE. Until this economy is based on hard, cold facts and real manufactured goods, we will not recover.

    I voted for Obama because I hate the GOP and 99% of all it stands for, but I have to say this housing plan sucks.

    Let the housing market fall to its bottom!!! Do not reward the irresponsible and punish those of us that play by the rules!!!

    February 18, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  11. Ann Watson

    What about the rest of the people with bad mortgages? 9 million hardly makes a dent. THIS IS NOT FAIR!

    February 18, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  12. Centrist from the West coast

    Wow. And here people were talking longingly about getting past the crazed divisiveness of the campaign season; to a day when all of us, Liberals and Conservatives, could sit down and talk like grownups again.

    Looks like we're not even remotely close to that ideal place yet.

    Well, a few commenters here seem to be of a balanced mindset, but the rest of you need to take a little more time to explore the internet and see that the nation is still made up of a majority of people who are not Left or Right, but somewhere in a steady balance between both argumentative factions.

    We live not in a hard and fast structure where we must either be all in or fold as if we're in recurring hands of poker. It's a long, deliberate system of adjustments as our nation evolves. We've gone for too many years, surrendering our voices to people who seem content to leave us out of the room while they make decisions that favor their own interests, and though the pendulum does appear to be swinging back, we all – ALL of us, even you over there in the corner – need to remember that change is not only required but a little painful.

    The opposite of change? Stagnation.

    And while we don't just need "change for change's sake", I do think we have a chance now of moving forward in a much better direction than we've been heading down the past six to ten years.

    We just all need to take a breath and try to make these changes TOGETHER. It's not a Democrat nation or a Republican nation, it's not a Liberal country or a Conservative country. We're made up of all manner of ideas and concerns.

    And to those of you teasing about some sort of wild revolution, just bear in mind that a lot of us have waited impatiently for you and yours to have your turn. Now perhaps you'd be best served by watching how other people would run a country.

    "If you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem."

    February 18, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  13. Ken in NC

    Let me get this straight. We are spending 10 billion a month in Iraq and much of that is being given to the people of Iraq with no hopes of repayment. In Afghanistan, money is being given also with no hopes of repayment and much of that money is being moved to be used in the fight against us.

    Now the President wants to use funds to help Americans here at home and many in the nation including many of our politicians go off in an uproar about their tax dollars being spent to prop up Americans that have been caught up in an economic crisis.

    I have no problem with helping others in need around the world but I think we must first help ourselves. I do not think we should be spending around the world while our own people are starving or being put into the streets. Helping the needy starts at home. Give it up folks and open your eyes. We need to help our own first and then we can help others.

    Now I do not totally agree with everything being done by President Obama but he was elected by the majority of the people so he is our President. I do not want to see him fail because if he fails, then we all fail and if WE ALL fail so goes our nation.

    GIVE IT SOME THOUGHT PEOPLE.

    February 18, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  14. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    Lisa T, Your comment to Rick really says it all! I coldn't have said it better!

    CNN, I don't see my comment posted here yet. Where did it go?

    February 18, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  15. sg

    Yo Dean – Look at the facts. Dow tanked on 11/5/08 when Sen O had won. Largest drop in the Dow on an presidential inaguration IN HISTORY. Dow tanks again when Geithner comes out with "I"m gonna fix it" speech on his version of TARP. Dow tanks yet again when the stimulus is signed. Coincedence? Nope – No confidence.

    February 18, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  16. Matthew

    Barack Has To Stop All The Doom and Gloom.

    Please, Just stop the Doomsday Scenario. You are not helping.

    February 18, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. LEFT out in the cold

    $8000+ for up to 9 MILLION home owners who were irresponsible enough to accept unrealistic loans from irresponsible lenders. THAT is change!!

    Mr President, what about the other 64 MILLION of us home owners who lived within our means, saw the American Dream and borrowed for what we COULD afford vs. what we WANTED buy??

    The 'feel good story' I saw was from the guy who 'held his house hostage' in CA, being evicted after default/foreclosure. What did he do wrong?? Got an 'interest only' loan on a $280,000 house, it dramatically loses value over five years and has NOT made a single principle payment in 5 yrs! He now has a loan STILL VALUED at $280,000 on a house valued at $220,000 and his only choice was to default and hold his home hostage. That isn't living The American Dream, that is simply irresponsible!

    To the other 63,999,999 American home owners who did the right thing, ponder this. IF we had $8000 to invest in our properties, would THAT stimulate the economy??? My $8000 would have SUSTAINED at least 20 jobs for 'shovel-ready' workers, boosted my property value...ALL HELPING THE ECONOMY!

    And, IM just one of 64 million home owners who could have done the same thing! IM quite sure having a $8000 check made out to me, with in the memo "for home improvements" and signed by Big BO would have been incentive enough for me to actually USE that hard-fought stimulus money to improve my HOME.

    Again, Mr President, high-speed railways for $8 BILLION DOES NOT STIMULATE ECONOMIC CHANGE! The Number One drain in our bathtub of life is the mortage/home crisis.

    Rather than give $787 BILLION to rag-tag programs, YOU, MR PRESIDENT, could have authorized $8000 to each of the 74 million home owners. That would have been $592 BILLION directly into the economy, stabilized housing, SAVED AMERICA $192 BILLION (that you could have spent later, Im sure) and you WOULD HAVE BEEN A HERO! That would have BOLDLY AND SWIFTLY ENDED THE DOWNWARD SPIRAL!!!!

    We need to call this CHANGE the big "diaper change". One group of people 'have an accident in their diaper' and we 'potty trained' ALL have to suffer by wearing diapers! Just another learning point for your OJT progarm.

    Thank you, very, very much, Ms Pelosi, Mr Reid and Mr President.

    February 18, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  18. David

    Wow, where is all this money coming from? Wait...I know....we just mortgaged my kids and grandkids' future. Way to go!!!!

    February 18, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  19. fearful for my country

    How about a plan to put disabled veterans into their own homes and have the payments come out of their benefits? We all know the VA ruins every disabled veterans credit by making them wait for years before receiving their benefits.

    February 18, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. David

    Sotty, Kathy, but it looks like you haven't figured it out yet because that is what's coming.

    February 18, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  21. M J

    Don't get upset at the person trying to clean up this mess, this is not Obama fault. I think you should be concern for the ones that let this happen. If we don't stop this leak, eventually the ceiling will suffer from water damage.

    February 18, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  22. Matt in CA

    My wife and I have a sub-prime mortage on our home. I am unemployed, but my wife has a stable job with benifits and decent pay. Things are not easy but we make our house payment every month. We make sacrifices, we rob Peter to pay Paul with all of our other bills. Our credit has suffered, but we pay our house payment EVERY MONTH, ON TIME!!!! I have no sympathy for people who bought beyond there means. When our mortage broker told us we could borrow $500K, we borrowed half that. We planned ahead in case one of us lost our job. I think it is unfair to the 51 million of us who pay our house payments on time, have to bailout those that made stupid decisions!

    February 18, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  23. Mary

    Mike in Houston February 18th, 2009 12:10 pm ET

    Dean, gimme a break. You guys were the ones blindly following Obama and never questioned him. Now you're trying to blame Republicans, Bush, capitalism, darwinism, global warming, etc. because reality is setting in?

    Almost half the country saw Obama is totally inadequate for this job. Too bad the majority of the country didn't pay attention during the campaign to what the candidates were SAYING and not just letting their frustration with Bush guide their vote.

    Maybe you'll learn.

    -

    Mike it sounds lilke you could use a little education yourself. You want to call Obama inadequate? When it was the republican ideology and GW Bush that lead us to this debacle. C'mon, I've noticed that conservatives have a little problem with reality, but this mess didn't start on January 20. Obama inherited this mess from the Bush administration – no amount of revisionist history is going to change that. Be sure to save a little love for good old Phil Graham and his deregulation nonsense – the fuel that started the fire.

    February 18, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  24. LOL

    TO: OBAMA IS DESTROYING US, YOU ARE SOOOO STUPID. WHO HAS BEEN IN CHARGE OF THIS COUNTRY FOR THE LAST 8 YEARS? AND OBAMA IS DESTROYING US, YOUR AN IDIOT PERIOD.

    February 18, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  25. Cleaning up after W

    @Kevin in Ohio: "Gee, maybe if I stop paying my mortgage on time and in full, I can get some of this money too."

    Kevin, I bought a house well within my means and pay my mortgage every month, but you won't hear me complain about my tax dollars going to help out the less fortunate. Why, you ask? Because I understand that sh!t happens. Did it ever occur to you or the other bitter republicans out there that maybe these houses were within the means of the homeowners when they signed their mortgages. Did you ever consider that they can't make the payments now because they've had their paychecks cut, or lost their jobs altogether? It probably didn't occur to you or the right-wingers because you view those less fortunate than yourself as lazy or irresponsible, rather than trying to see all sides of the problem. Thank God your party's not in office.

    February 18, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
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