March 4th, 2009
04:37 PM ET
14 years ago

Poll: Majority say Obama mortgage plan is unfair

[cnn-photo-caption image=
caption="A new national poll suggests that most Americans think the plan is unfair to those who pay their mortgages on time."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - On the day that the Obama administration begins implementing a new program to fight home foreclosures, a new national poll suggests that most Americans think the plan is unfair to those who pay their mortgages on time.

Sixty-four percent of those questioned in a Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday feel the Obama administration program is unfair to those who pay their mortgages on time. Only 28 percent say that the president's $75 billion plan is fair. More details on the program, which is aimed at helping up to nine million borrowers stay in their homes using refinanced mortgages or modified loans, were released Wednesday.

Americans may not like the plan — but that doesn’t mean they think it’s a bad idea. While nearly two-thirds think the plan is unfair to those who follow the rules, 57 percent say they approve of the package, and 55 percent believe the plan will stabilize home prices.

"Americans don't like to see other people get special treatment, particularly when it comes to money, but they don't like to see others suffer either," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "And unlike federal assistance to auto companies and banks, the Obama mortgage plan appears to benefit individual Americans, typically a more popular option in polls."

The poll also indicates that lenders are getting the lion’s share of the blame for the mortgage mess: 62 percent of those question blame them for the current crisis, to 25 percent who blame borrowers.

The Quinnipiac University poll of 2,573 people was conducted by telephone February 25-March 2, and has a sampling error of plus or minus 1.9 percentage points.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (533 Responses)
  1. RLB

    So they were polled about a plan that they don't know the details of??? How exactly are you supposed to be able to give an honest opinion?

    March 4, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  2. E

    This isn't about special treatment, this is about stopping the spiral. How fair is it for your home value to continue to spiral because banks were too stupid to lend this money. The borrowers were lied to by mortgage brokers, taken advantage of because they wish to have a better life. It was the banks who should have demanded collateral and proof of income.
    Obama is trying to stop the madness, he didn't create it, he is not giving a hand out, he is trying to get banks to restructure rather than rob people.

    March 4, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  3. BJ

    I'm sure a lot of people have paid their bills on time until an unexpected crisis comes. I can't stand people who think nothing can happen to them or their love ones. Keep living and when your job gets eliminated and you can't pay, remember what you said. What guarantee in life do you have that says you will be forever healthy, never get a divorce, love one 's with a terminal illiness. You don't know what is in front of you in life. Quit being so judgemental. If you can pay your bills, thank God for it and shut up!

    March 4, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  4. meh don't know that. Some people are losing their homes b/c they've been laid off!
    I'm sick of these people being portrayed as dead-beats by knee-jerk Neo Cons...

    March 4, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  5. Ex-Republican

    some of you people crying 'no fair' are such pieces of crap! Stop complaining and be ready to fix this mess.

    I pay my mortgage on time, have never missed a payment. This isn't helping me one bit. But it's needed.

    Shut up and cry me a river you worthless whiners! YOU and your kind, RUINED people like me, who don't sit there and throw a tantrum everytime a cow farts have to fix it! STFU you 'just say no' freaks of retardation!

    March 4, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. Cheese and Rice!

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

    For those who have paid their bills on time and are complaining about footing the bill for those that didn't:

    Homeowners and non-homeowners are ALL losing their jobs. Renters are being evicted because of homeowners losing their homes. Place the blame wherever you choose but, if nothing is done then your precious home will be worth nothing.

    Granted, their will always be someone who skates by on the backs of others. Society is not perfect and neither are we as people. We don't want to teach sex education but we want to criminalize abortion and refuse social services for those resulting children.

    We use our homes as our personal ATMs and wonder why we're unable to pay our bills any longer.


    I hope none of you complainers EVER need help of any kind from anyone. You may find someone refusing you citing "fairness".

    March 4, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  7. Johio

    Many of you need to read Gene's comment (one of the first), because you're obviously not getting it.

    This plan is not about what's fair or who should or shouldn't be helped. It's about keeping the whole system from collapsing and it's an essential part of the overall plan to keep the economy from going under completely.

    I agree that many of these people should not have bought homes in the first place, but it's not right to place all of the blame on them. The banks and mortgage companies created these loans that made it easy for people to buy houses they couldn't afford, and then told those people that they could. They did so without risk to themselves because they knew that they were selling the mortgages to be combined into bigger and bigger packages. They did so knowing that many of their customers would not be able to pay the balloon payments, but that they personally would not suffer the loss.

    I would say screw the banks and let them fail, except the money they lose would not be their own, it would be their depositors and the FDIC's.

    March 4, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  8. Danita

    I agree with those that feel the Mortgae plan in unfair. What about the ones that have been paying on time and have lost household income due a death in the family.

    March 4, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  9. No Hillary = No Obama

    Let's see some demographics. Break it down. Is it across all spectrums or disproportionate among certain segments?

    March 4, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  10. Ray Fisher

    Now this is where the absurd hits the street, of course responsible homeowners say its unfair because they are paying for the irresponsible, UNTIL THEY LOOK AT THEIR PROPERTY VALUES!!! The mortgage bailout must be unfair to all to be fair to the irresponsible & the responsible. The President is merely attempting to compensate for the falling property values from failed mortgages and it will all equalize in quick time. Once the property values rebound the bailouts won't be necessary. Everyone please give the President a chance as he is dealing with an entire nation gone bad!!! Just check the comps in your neighborhoods to learn what the President knows!!!

    March 4, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  11. Brian

    On Limbauh... what the DNC doesn't seem to understand is that we on the right (thinking people) love Rush Limbaugh. We aren't afraid of crossing him, we wholeheartedly agree with him and he speaks for us. This DNC plan is going to backfire big time as Obama loses support.

    March 4, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  12. Mary

    It is not hard to find sympathy for people losing their jobs because people in power got greedy and don't know how to plan for times of scarcity in addition to times of plenty. But here I am, making $70,000 a year and BARELY able to afford a house in the Los Angeles area. I waited because I knew the housing bubble had to burst one day. Now that it finally happened, the government wants to inflate prices again!!! Come on, let the market correct itself so those of us with who make smart, logical and prudent choices can get back in the game. Stepping in at this point is just going to push everything back to an unrealistic market that got us into this mess in the first place.

    March 4, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  13. TjayeInLA

    I'm a staunch supporter of our President, but this plan IS unfair...but, unfortunately, it's necessary.

    March 4, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  14. sandy

    Today, it's not really about fairness, it is about survival and I want to survive financially and I want my country to survive. So, to those out there who have nothing better to do than to complain about everything this man is trying to do, I say go to Canada, or better yet, try China then you can really complain about fairness. Oh, no you can't, your not allowed to complain over there. Do you get the message?

    March 4, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  15. daryl

    After chiding the President for "talking down the economy", all I've seen day and night on CNN for the past 2 weeks is the hosts of your various segments continually talk down the economy and attempt to scare the american people by continually sticking microphones into any naysaying, negative, right wing republican they can find. I know you're doing it to advance your own media narratives and attempt to create the news as opposed to report it. Your tag line shouldn't be "we report, you decide". Your job is to report the TRUTH, and then let me decide. Not to trot people out to argue something that you yourself know is wrong. If I said the sky was blue, does that mean you have to bring someone on to counter and say the sky is green? Gimme a break .

    March 4, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  16. Adam

    The word greed has been thrown around a lot lately, but I don't think the people attacking with the word greed are really thinking about what they are saying. Were people that took on mortgages they knew they were not going to be able to pay not being greedy? And how exactly is a mortgage company predatory for loaning out money they knew they weren't going to get paid back for? It makes no sense! They were strong armed by congressmen like Chriss Dodd and Barney Frank to write mortgages to lower income people or face fines and public accusations of racism.

    March 4, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  17. Sam

    This is just more of the Democrats "Entitlement" beliefs at work. It was their belief that every American was entitled to own a home, regardless of whether you had a job or income to pay the loan back, thus forcing the banks to make bad mortgage loans, which is what got us in this mess. Now Obama wants to force those same banks to "adjust" the loans to make them more affordable to those that shouldn't own homes to begin with. I plead with all Democrats and Republicans, to look at each policy on its own merit and determine if it is fair regardless of who is pushing it. Stop being afraid to question your party. Obama may own the media, but he shouldn't own you!

    March 4, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  18. TM

    So many are saying this is unfair "to those who paid their mortgages on time." Please realize that only owner/residents who are CURRENT on their mortgages are eligible for this plan. It does NOT reduce the principal amount of the loan, but re-sets the annual payment at no more than 31% of family income for several years. After that time, the rate will gradually adjust to an average current rate.
    Please read the actual proposal before you form an opinion.

    Why should owners who pay their mortgages on time as agreed be called deadbeats, losers, etc? None of us are certain our family income is safe from extended illness, lay-offs or salary reductions.

    I, for one, do not want to live on a street full of empty, foreclosed homes. I'm not at all sure that out-of-town lenders will be providing lawn service to hundreds of those homes – which will create headaches for entire neighborhoods by summer.

    March 4, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  19. Susan

    Yes, I voted for Obama, and I am very happy. He is working extremely hard to right the ship of state, you know, the one Bush almost capsized with his unlimited war spending, torturing people, and spying on all of us? Maybe you should read about the DOJ atrocities under you change your tune about Barack. But wait, Rush hasn't told you about it yet, because W was the patriotic one who loved guns and America. Bull.

    March 4, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  20. karen-Phoenix

    It is NOT unfair!!! People screwed other people who could not afford to buy a house JUST to make a buck!!! If you are one that this did NOT happen to and bought within your limits(I live in a mobile-paid cash and love it) BUT live in a neighborhood with banckrupt homes your homes value has gone way, way down and it would have been better for your neighbor to have stayed and paid(at least what he could) than leave and turn the neighborhood into a getto!

    March 4, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  21. Reatte Beaumont, Texas

    Why should I have to pay for someone mortgage that should have gotten a adjustable rate mortgage on a house that you could afford to start with. I paid my mortgage and on time for years and I was smart enough to get a fixed rate. It started with the clintons wanting everyone to get a home that had no job but that is okay because the rest of the americans that pay there bills will dig out the ones that don't. It is not my fault or the ones that pay there bills. This is nothing but robinhood in the brightest moment in our country and I hope that the americans wake up and start to fight this if not we will look like a third world country and it won't take long either. And when the money runs out from the rich the ones that are looking for a hand out good luck because your life will be like the rest of us. I just hope that we can get someone that is for the american people in four years either democrat or republican I don't can as long as they are for live and let live by the laws of our land and that is not happening now and it will get worse when the health care comes along and we have to let our seniors suffer for another and that is the day that I hope the good LORD comes back and does away with the world as we know.

    GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    hope this is the change that you people wanted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 4, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  22. echo40

    To all those people saying preventing foreclosure help us all... it doesn't help me. I saved money for down payment, and hoping the house price would come down to a reasonable level, it now finally coming down, and government suppose to use MY tax dollar to help other people pay their house which I couldn't live in???????

    March 4, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  23. pat

    This administration is a joke. They have no clue as to what they are doing. Why have there not been any investigations of Fannie and Freddie or Barnie and Dodd. The real culprits of this whole disaster. It is only a matter of time before you libs will finally realize what you are doing to this country. I only hope the adults can get back in power before it is too late.

    March 4, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  24. kevin from the peake

    I find it interesting that the partisans here take the side of THEIR party's ideology. The mortgage crisis is a bipartisan problem that has increased its scope to include the past three administrations. The concept of fairness is interesting, but the real problem is that the plan DOES NOT cover the SCOPE of the probelm. Let's leave ideology out and bring in an American plan

    March 4, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  25. Todd

    I spent 20 years in the workforce living in apartments, working hard, saving and saving, scrimping and scrimping, and waiting until I could afford to buy a house. I finally did just that about two years ago. It's MY house and I paid for it outright by MYSELF without any help from anyone. And you know what? I'm pretty proud of that. But our government has not rewarded me at all for all of my patience and hard work. They ARE however rewarding individuals who have not been as responsible with their finances. Unfair? Of course it is! As far as the situation where otherwise hardworking folks lose their house because they've been laid off, why didn't they plan ahead and set aside some money to get them through such a situation? If they can't afford to do that, they're living beyond their means and probably shouldn't have bought the house that they're in to begin with.

    March 4, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
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