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. Johnathan

    Groups like Acorn pressured the banks to increase home loans for minorities, even if they didn't qualify due to their credit history. President Obama used to work for Acorn, and now he is trying to help clean up the mess he was part of creating. As usual the dems want responsible Americans to take care of Americans who have a culture of irresponsibility. We are on a fast track to socialism, and the President is purposely dragging the markets down with his doom and gloom speeches. He knows he can't lift everyone up to the same standard of living so he will level the playing field by dragging productive Americans down to the level of the so called disadvantaged. It's all about forty acres and a mule folks, and it looks like Farrakhan is finally going to get the reparations he has been crying about for decades.

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

    We are all so eager to blame either Wall Street or our Government for the economic crisis we are currently facing. Why don't we start placing a good portion of the blame where it really belongs? Right at our own feet. Wall St. nor the government forced us to borrow, borrow, borrow until we could no longer see the bottom. We played a big part in doing this to ourselves people. Wake up and smell the coffee and help to find a solution instead of sticking our hands out looking for a hand out..

    March 4, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  3. TjayeInLA

    And personally, I benefit more if this plan does NOT go into action. If the foreclosures continue, the prices continue to fall, I can now afford to buy my house right next to YOU and I will likely pay 40% LESS than you did.

    Works for me. Let it fall!

    March 4, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  4. Joe in Boulder

    This *is* unfair. I haven't bought a house yet because I want to make sure I can do it responsibly. Had I known the government was going to come in and give handouts, I'd have bought one already too. F- this, who is helping me get a house for me and my beautiful son?... still paying rent that I can't seem to get out from under.

    March 4, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  5. Veteran in Kansas

    In a world where lenders act responsibly and only loan to individuals that can realistically pay back the loan, in a world where lenders accept responsibility for the loans that they write, in a world where all home buyers are not totally relient upon the lender to make the correct decision, I would say let them sink. However, this is not the world we live in, the world we live in have lenders padding the income on the loan application to reflect at best the gross if not more, rather than net, we have lenders who plan on bundling and selling the loans they write before the first payment is even due and the ink has dried on the contracts, and then we have our buyers that are clueless as to what they are getting themselves into totally in the hands of the lender.

    To those that are making their morage payments my hat is off to you, you are reaping the rewards of a home buyer making payments on time with your excellent credit history and the knowledge that you have not destroyed your credit worthyness.

    To those that bought with the idea that a fast buck for a fast turn around, well never gamble with money that you can not afford to lose. To those that just flat out bought way to much house, ever think about a boarding house. Those that were poured into homes that they can not afford by leanders are the ones we need to target. Somewhere along the line there was a lender that was lining his/her pocket while knowing full well that these individuals could not afford to get into the deal that they were setting them up in, these are the buyers that we need to help, and the lenders that we need to put in jail for fraud.

    March 4, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  6. Independent chicago man age 25

    Whats funny to me is that republicans like to throw money to war to save another Country, but then they complain about helping people here right at home??? I would rather my tax money help people here then those that are over there.

    Also, What ever happened to dawinism, "the strong servive." Were going to screw up this whole world if we are saving everyone and everything that is suppose to die.

    March 4, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  7. Not so bright...

    I pay my mortgage on time every month.

    I will be helped by this plan because it will help stem the tide of foreclosures in my neighborhood which are causing my home's value to plummet.

    Oh and it may keep my perfectly nice neighbors who've lost their jobs through no fault of their own keep from becoming homeless.

    Seems like a win/win in my neighborhood.

    Is that so hard for you Rush wannabes to figure out?

    March 4, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  8. MaryanneAZ

    Fair is not the issue. Stemming the housing market decline is the issue. If this measure becomes a salvaging tourniquet on the hemorrhaging housing market, then it will have succeeded. I too wish I were included in the largesse, but I am happy to be included in the residual benefits.

    March 4, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  9. Doug

    Umemployment was this high at the start of the Clinton administation so saying it has not been this high in 50yrs is not being honest. Saying that it is umemployeement that is causing everyone to foreclose is also not honest. I did not upgrade to a 500K house like others in my community b/c I would not be able to sleep at night knowing that if my income decreased I would be up the creek without a paddle. Instead, I payed down my mortgage and got my monthly payment with taxes down to $1200 a month! If I would have upgraded, pulled out equity, bought that fancy new car (mine is a 1991 with 234k miles on it), TV, vacation monthly payment would be in the 3K range and the ability to take any job to make the payments would be next to impossible. This crisis was brought on by the mentality that if my neighbor gets granite countertops then by god I'm getting them too. Cry me a river! You were the ones bidding up the price of housing with the gotta have it now mentality. Let the housing prices crash more, then I can swoop in with the money I saved and buy up property to rent to all you loosers who didn't plan ahead because our entitlement society will bail you out!

    March 4, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  10. pk49

    Bailout stinks! What is the incentive here for people to be responsible and what is the message it sends to those who HAVE BEEN responsible??!!! What a mess.

    March 4, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. yer mom

    For those banks that did not accept bailout money the modification process is still voluntary. Banks won't modify loans for people and take the government incentives if it will benefit them more to proceed with foreclosure. The most this legislation will do is let people who bought during the peak and are making good on their payments qualify for refinancing even though they may be underwater.

    Everyone who owned a home pre-2002 saw their homes practically double in value because of the speculation and Wall Street greed over the last few years. Nobody had a problem with their home values skyrocketing in a short time, but when the market corrects 30%-50% all of a sudden everybody's crying about how unfair things are.

    March 4, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  12. Vera

    Heh, heh, heh,....just the begining America. If you think this is unfair, wait till the reparations talks begin...coming soon.

    March 4, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  13. Jon

    To Gene: You are wrong. Convservatives don't want to spend money rebuilding other countries, policitians do.

    To sky: It is very hard for me to buy the notion that, in the home buying process, the lender's were able to completely take advantage of the homebuyer in the way you suggest. The Truth in Lending document lays it all on the table for you.

    When we bought our first home, a lender "pre-qualified" us for a $150,000 mortgage. We knew that we couldn't afford anywhere near that much house payment, and bought a house worth about $65,000. Had I actually purchased a $150,000 house, and then had trouble making the payments, you would have faulted the lender as greedy?! Yes, the lender would have made a bad loan decision. But ulitimately, the responsiblity rests with the buyer. You want to talk about greed? How about the greed involved with the person who buys a home that they cannot afford? Where is their responsiblity in all of this? It makes me angry that I'm going to end up paying not only for my own house, but for portions of houses for people who bought houses they couldn't afford. And I don't get any equity in those!

    March 4, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  14. Lisa P

    Don't make the perfect be the enemy of the good. Better a few scammers, liars and people who were just irresponsible or stupid benefit, even if unjustly, than that the innocent and conscientious people who were lied to, overcharged or laid off suffer.

    Besides, everyone (except me) benefits from this because it will stabilize home prices. I've been hunting for a first home for the last few months but prices in my city still aren't down to something I can afford.

    March 4, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  15. Kiddo

    Can you imagine the far-worse nightmare we'd be in right now if McCain had won the election?

    McCain, the guy who said the fundamentals of our economy are strong? My gosh, the unemployment rate would be far worse, foreclosures would probably be tripled by now, more banks would have closed - I really glad Obama's in the Oval Office. At least he understood from the very beginning that our economy isn't sound.

    Obama knew we were in trouble, McCain didn't, and in the immortal words of the G.I. Joe cartoon - knowing is half the battle.

    March 4, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  16. proud army navy mom

    i am so tired of people moaning and groaning about the unfairness of it all. Funny, I didn't hear that sentiment when the republicans sends our kids to fight an illegal war.

    This plan is for the betterment of all Americans, suck it up and live with it or move to another country.

    March 4, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  17. Jero

    Owww, your whole life isn't fair, you don't get the girl you wanted, you will never be king etc. STOP WHINING! AND LET THE MAN DO HIS JOB!

    March 4, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  18. Lynn

    If you have to be current on your mortgage to get help, why do you need help?

    March 4, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. Micheline

    The plan only help those who are paying their mortages. You have to be up to date in your payments. The media are not doing their job.

    March 4, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  20. Chris, Oakbrook Terrace, IL

    This is so typiclly us, and by us I mean., U.S. and not in a bad way. I might not be fair but it it's going to fix the problem, we have to deal with it. I think that shows that we're a can do kind of people and will do whatever it takes.

    March 4, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  21. Reality Check Richmond Virginia

    well maybe these responents would change their mind if their next door neighbors house went into forclosure thus lowering the value of the home of the person paying on time. It would be nice if we could get in a time machine and go back 6 or 7 years and do this all over the right way, but since we cannot, we have to do the best we can now.........and as someone who has been paying on time and whose biggest investment is their home, I sure as hell hope someone(the govt or whomever) would step in and keep my neighbors from going into foreclosure, if they have to.

    March 4, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  22. OKCCPA

    I have a client who is 85 years old, always taken the "offer" from Wells Fargo on "extra money equity" and now owes $120K on a house worth $80K with an interest rate at 12.25% and doesn't understand how she got there.

    Wells Fargo tells us that she's "good and performing" on the mortgage so they can not help out anywhere - and the agent's suggestion was to "default" three payments so she'll be in default and then they can at least get the rate back down to under 6%!

    This seems to be the new mantra for Obama - do wrong and be rewarded, do right and suffer........

    March 4, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  23. Andi

    Fair? Show me examples where government programs have been fair, so I have something to compare it to.

    I'd rather help out fellow Americans than Haliburton and all the GOP cronies. Do you really think the rich white guys in Congress care about you? They want your vote, so they can get back in power – they won't do anything for fellow Americans.

    Is it fair to bail out Wall Street and the Auto Industry? Is it fair to send soldiers to the Middle East without proper equipment for a war no one wanted but Haliburton and Bush? Where was the cry of 'unfair' for the past 8 years? It's only unfair because some talking head told you the President is going to take your money away and give it to someone else? Give me a break. Think for yourselves.

    March 4, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  24. Jan

    I would rather my house value go up because my neighbor's house is no longer in foreclosure.

    My house value has dropped to $30K less than what I owe on it because of foreclosures.

    I did not buy a house I could not afford, my house was fair market when I bought it. I did all the right things, so it is not fair that my house is worth less because of foreclosures, but I am glad someone has a plan to stop the bleeding. In the long run it helps us all.

    Now maybe I will be able to eventually sell my house for what I owe.

    March 4, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  25. Texasjay

    Oh mighty liberals please share your incredible intelligence with this simple conservative. I have lived a life based on my own hard work. I am starting to see the error of my ways, so please use your wisdom to teach me how to be a victim. Teach me to understand that by the mere act of saying you will do something it is the same as real action. I now understand that when Our Personal Savior Obama says HE will start a program to give ( INSERT VICTIM GROUP HERE ) Heavenly printing presses magically print money. Teach me how to get "MY FAIR SHARE " of other peoples work. Thank you liberal America for once again allowing me to believe in Peter Pan. Your keen grasp of how to improve your life with other peoples money and possessions has become my shining beacon in the distance. Thank you so much for all you have done for America

    March 4, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
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