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. C.E.Daly

    Not fair = "what's in it for me" I will not receive direct benefit but rather indirect benefit from home price stabilization. I still don't see the changes in the mortgage lending process though. I receive those same stupid BS offers in the mail that are at the root of the problem.

    March 4, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. Chris

    On the issue of fairness: EVERYONE with a mortgage below a certain amount (I think around $725,000) is eligible for the plan. Regardless to whether or not you have been paying on time, you can still get your loan modified. The entire point of the plan is to keep people in their homes by saving them money. Even if you paid on time in the past, paying less can help. This plan IS NOT designed solely for delinquent borrowers. Please read the article on this.

    March 4, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. Not right or left - Forward!

    For those who believe this is not a long-term problem or one that happened overnight – it is difficult to realize now that gas prices are lower than last summer, how that devastating surge of prices in gas, diesel and natural gas impacted consumers. Some people had to use credit to pay for gas – to get to and from work and school, to work their second or third part-time job. They ran up credit card debt because maybe their city didn't have good public transportation, or maybe they worked at night and public transportation was unsafe. Then, when the economy started sliding they lost one or two of their 3 jobs, and couldn't make a payment. So what does the bank do? Let's see, he can't make a payment at 9%, so let's jack his rate to 30%, that ought to make it easier on him. Then when he defaults, we'll ask Uncle Sam to bail us out for screwing him so bad he couldn't take it anymore." Then the same thing happened with his mortgage.

    This happened. It happened not once, but hundreds, or thousands of times in the last 6 months. It happened in large part because of corporate greed and the oil company profiteering led by you know who. And now that Crawford's village idiot and Darth Sidius are out of Washington, the mess is dumped in Obama's lap.

    Helping someone else isn't a punishment just because you might not be in as desparate straights as they are. How many Christians really believe good God-fearing Christian Americans who have been victimized by this system don't deserve some help?

    March 4, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. Sam Sixpack

    This carefully crafted bailout apparently spreads the wealth from "nobody" to the needy. This is a disguise. It funnels even more of YOUR money to wealthy bank execs.

    March 4, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  5. Debi

    Stop complaining about this not being fair.

    It may not be fair, but we learned life is not always fair.

    It is the bank's fault, the default swapper's fault, the home buyer's fault, investor's fault, Bush's fault, Clinton's fault.... and the list goes on and on. Who's fault it is makes no bit of difference now.

    Now we have to stop the problem.

    March 4, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  6. Pluto

    I don't like seeing people get special treatment, but I think I'd like a complete economic collapse even worse. At least they aren't sitting on their hands crying like publicans.

    March 4, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  7. flybyshoeing

    All you complainers, please be quiet or direct your outrage where it truly belongs, at Bush and his mess up. I don't need any help, but I know plenty of people who do and want them to get it.

    March 4, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    May not like some getting special treatment.... but I don't like the recession worse!

    March 4, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  9. responsible renter

    i am a renter, this bill is a slap in the face. to all the dembots...what part of lower house prices = affordable housing dont you get? apparently, you think that the generations that follow you should pay more for housing? if there was no mortgage interest deduction, housing would be even cheaper. high home prices are good for landowners and bankers, think about it, the rich getting richer. if we pay less for housing, we have more money for the rest of the economy and create jobs. i am sorry some people paid two or three times what a house is worth. education is expensive...walk away and start over. i am willing to help people who bought houses at 3-4x income with a standard loan and have 6 months of living expenses saved in a cd, and little other debt. if you cant live on unemployment and savings for many, many months, you are reckless and deserve whatever happens. unfortunately, not many out there i would help.

    March 4, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  10. Lee

    I think it would be fair to all if those who gets bailout on personal mortgage now are paying back when his or her condition is better and able to pay back all or pay back some potion of bailout. Getting bailout on my tax dollar is not equal getting free load.

    March 4, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  11. Rob R

    Stop asking the man on the street his opinion of complicated, weakly reported pieces of legislation.
    50% of americans can't identify the 3 branches of government and you're asking them if a complicated, economic program is equitable ?

    Enough with the polls.

    March 4, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  12. TM


    I'm sure you mean well, but please explain how you have personally seen Obama's plan "in ACTION." The mortgage relief plan was only formally unveiled this morning, 3/4/2009, and parts of it will require approval by Congress before taking effect. It will be some time before the first homeowner will receive any aid from this proposal.

    March 4, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  13. Brent


    March 4, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  14. still hoping

    YOU guys voted for this idiot, now live with it and stop complaining. The worse is yet to come.

    March 4, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  15. Brad

    I guess that all I need to do is get deeply into debt and then stop making my payments. The government will bail me out. Gee – I wish that I had known this a long time ago. I could have had a lot more fun.

    March 4, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  16. tim

    What ever happened to being accountable for your own actions? These people took out loans they could not afford, and they should be held accountable. The banks who made these loans should also suffer the consequences. End of story.

    March 4, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  17. al

    have you seen the piece on CNN on Saturday about the guy who has 200K house, refinanced it with fraud statements, got 340K, spent the money on something, he doesn't know exactly on what, and now he has chutzpa to ask (and will get!) more help to stay in the house! Would you give him money if he asks you?He already has his house for free and you will be paying him more! So fair!

    March 4, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  18. C W

    The biggest frustration to me is how financial "geniuses" on Wall Street who came up with these bogus investment "instruments" have so totally wrecked our and the world's economy – and how they haven't paid any consequences (yet).

    Talk about an entitlement attitude! The Wall Street bozos wanted deregulation so they could make money hand over fist – and when all their schemes inevitably failed, they come crying to the government to bail them out. And, because of the devastating consequences of letting them fail would be catastrophic, we have to do it!

    We need to re-regulate the financial industry and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law all those responsible for creating this mess!

    March 4, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  19. Spring Texas Resident

    It's rather amusing the number of comments by "responsible" home owners who say they will just stop paying their bills so they can have a hand out too. I don't see that as responsible. I've never been a something for nothing kind of gal. Why not reward those of us who have ALWAYS done right and then hit a little bump in the road (usually not our fault)? Ohh, I see it's because we're too busy giving money to AIG and other corporations. I get it, I get it!

    March 4, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  20. Jim

    It's absolutely unfair to everyone that lived within their budget and paid their bills and it's wrong. It's a bad plan... to reward greed and irresponsibility...

    March 4, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  21. beevee

    I also think that the president's mortgage paln is a bit unfair especially when it rescues people who were thoughtless about their abilities to afford a house. However, to put an end to the mortgage banking crisis and get out of the financial disaster that the country is in now, it seems to be the right thing to do and I support him for taking this bold unpopular step.

    March 4, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  22. Ronald Schwartz

    If I call my Mortgage co, and tell them I'm not going to make the next 2 payments will they let me refinance and reduce my loan? Maybe we should all do that and everyone can qualify in the USA. what an Idea.

    March 4, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  23. Jodi

    Its not fair that my husband lost his 100k+ job and is now making 28k.
    We love our home and we worked hard to get it. I hope this plan can help us just until we can get back to where we were 5 months ago. I would never ask for help if WE didnt need it. We signed the mortgage paper and we planned on keeping to the terms but with my husband making so much less WHAT CAN WE DO?

    March 4, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  24. Kyle W

    I still have a job because of Obama? Did I read that right? Obama, he hasn't had to do or did anything for my company. Its called good business practices. Mabye that is something that the rest of you should learn.

    March 4, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  25. C W

    Here's what I consider to be appropriate punishment for those convicted of unethical and criminal behavior that resulted in the worldwide financial crisis we are currently experiencing, which necessitates the bank and mortgage bailouts:

    1. Those convicted must work the rest of their life. No retirement; they work until the day they die.

    2. They must work the highest-paying jobs possible.

    3. Of their salary, they are given $2000/month to live on – for the rest of their life.

    4. The remaining amount above $2000/month goes towards repaying the taxpayers who bailed them out.

    The only way these people will "get it" is to send a very clear message that this kind of selfish, calculated greedy behavior will not be tolerated.

    We need to hit these greedy SOBs where they live: make them suffer financially, in the harshest terms possible.

    March 4, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
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