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

Poll: Majority say Obama mortgage plan is unfair

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/04/art.getty.obama.3.4.jpg
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. alie710asm

    Thank you, I can finally afford to buy a house.

    Thank you for not pays your bills, because of you behavior the rest of the county finally wake up.
    I’ve spend years saving for my house and yet I couldn’t afford it, yet you’ve saved nothing and were given the house of your dream. I don’t expect you to do better in the future, but since were bailing out bad behavior you are entitling to your cut.

    March 4, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  2. Diana

    I am one of those who bought a home within my price range, am not behind in my payments, still have a good job and receive a paycheck every 2 weeks. BUT, the price of food and other commodities is becoming hard to pay for. Since I have been married (23+ yrs) our bills get paid first then food then the "nicities" of life. What do we get? How is this billions of dollars helping us, the ones who pay their bills but still find it hard for the "nicities" like food?

    March 4, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  3. WhoCares?

    All the poll shows is that a majority of people have no understanding of who is going to be helped by this program.

    Shocker there.

    March 4, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  4. Mike

    This equates to welfare – take from me so that someone irresponsible (yes if you failed to plan for unemployment you are irresponsible) can continue to own a house they could not afford. Oh, and by the way I am unemployed and still making my mortgage payment.

    March 4, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  5. pete

    So the solution was to force banks into giving money to people who couldn't afford to repay it, out of some warped sense of social responsibility. And now that those who we knew couldn't repay their loans will not repay their loans, we give them a mortgage break out of some warped sense of social responsiblity.

    I they have learned there lesson how?

    The next thing coming will be to wipe out the credit card debts of all of those who have bought large screen TV's, home entertainment centers, and game consoles.

    The current administration is stealing my money, I hold them personally responsible. They better hope they don't meet me in the streets.

    March 4, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  6. AL

    I bet most of the people complaining don't have a clue what the rules are for this. It won't help those who bit off more than they can chew.
    And for those who complain they shouldn't help those in trouble, then I hope when you need help, like with a house fire, or flood or tornado or whatever it may be, that you don't ask for help from anyone. Why should anyone help you, when you are so unwilling to help others?
    I don't have a mortgage, but the housing crisis affects me through the economy, less stable neighborhood, declining home prices. It makes sense to help those who can be helped. I would rather give the money to these people than to the rich and Exxon Oil.

    March 4, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  7. average joe

    We have to do something!!! or else these foreclosures are never going to end!!! lets quit the whinning people and move forward!!! someone call a waabulance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 4, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  8. WhoCares?

    America is a Christian nation is it not?

    Doesn't Christianity say to help those less fortunate?

    So if you are a Christian and are against this program..well you have some explaining to do to your creator.

    March 4, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  9. nevadacounty

    Yes, you guys, it's unfair, a person lost their job, foreclose. Watch your neighborhood fall apart, your home price drop. Think only of yourself.

    Take a look at some of the areas that have high foreclosures and you'll see blight, criminals moving in, houses stripped. If that's what you want, continue to think only for yourself and let's spend another trillion dollars helping Iraq's rebuild their inferstructure, not ours.

    March 4, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  10. nevadacounty

    Yes, you guys, it's unfair, a person lost their job, foreclose. Watch your neighborhood fall apart, your home price drop. Think only of yourself.

    Take a look at some of the areas that have high foreclosures and you'll see blight, criminals moving in, houses stripped. If that's what you want, continue to think only of yourself and let's spend another trillion dollars helping Iraq's rebuild their inferstructure, not ours.

    March 4, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  11. Jim

    Don't they realize that the more houses that go into default and come on to the market at reduced prices the more the value of their own home goes down? I suspect that's not fair either.

    March 4, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  12. CJ

    Bankruptcy for an individual who took a loan well above his/her means of paying – deserved.

    Bankruptcy for an institution who gave a loan to that individual, knowing they couldn't pay it, and then stacking a high rate to get as much as possible out of them, deserved.

    Criminal charges against companies who targeted lower income individuals to give loans at ridiculious interest rates, desired but not feasible.

    Taxing hard working people who have lived within their means and paid their bills, to bail out people in groups 1 & 2 above. (self censored response)

    March 4, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  13. Resident Alien

    Basically the only people who are getting helped are the ones who are missing payments. If you have made all your payments and you are upside down because of the market (I'm down 32% since I bought in 2007), then forget even calling. We are stuck with our rates.

    I understand that we shouldn't expect any help but if they are giving it out, they should give it to the right folks. If you give help to someone who has already missed payments, giving them another chance might not help as much as giving the help to proactive people who have done everything 100% correct and just want a lower rate but can't because the people who have fore-closed have cause our values to drop. <- does anyone see the problem with that...

    March 4, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  14. RyanD.

    "but because these people lied to get their loans"

    Who lied to get a loan? I've never read one piece of literature on this mortgage crisis that suggests it was caused by "lying" to get a loan.

    Maybe lying by the banks to tell you you can afford it, or you spreading lies...but credit checks are real and they exist. You can't "lie" your way into $500,000 home, sorry.

    March 4, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  15. jw

    It's not fair.

    March 4, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  16. Alex

    Why wouldn't accept a simpler plan:
    1. If you are on unemployment you can get a mortgage holiday until you'll get the job
    2. Do not count medical bills toward debt or in credit reports – hospitals 10x overcharge for all needed and unnecessary procedures
    3. Void any prepayment penalties so people can refinance for a fixed rate

    March 4, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  17. John C

    I called my lender (Countrywide) today and after being transfered numerous times I was told that they won't do anything for me. I have a high interest rate do to a stated income loan. My credit score is in the mid 700's, but after a job loss last year I had to take a much lower paying job and have spent most of my saving to keep up. Since I pay my bills they won't help me! Who is this money really helping? People who didn't make their payments anyway?

    March 4, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  18. Tammy

    I am so sick of people trying to make other people pay for their mistakes. What are we teaching our children? We are teaching them that you can go out, buy a house you cannot afford, run up credit card debts, never pay them. Somebody else will pay it for you. If all else fails, scream bankrupcy and start over. This makes me angry. People, start taking responsibility for your actions. The bank did not twist the arms of anyone to sign for a loan they could not afford. When things started going bad, those same people who loved the banks are blaming them. No one is responsible for your actions except you...why am I paying for people to be on welfare and to keep their homes? This is crazy, we have grown to expect the government to take care of us. They cannot take care of the country, let alone us. If you loose your job, get another one, disconnect the cable, phones, cell phones, internet. Most people still have those things, they are a luxury not a "need".

    March 4, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  19. Vegas Barbie the Paralegal for Obama

    If people don't get help, we will see a dramatic increase in homeless people, which will also be a burden on the tax paying public, and thus on all the homebuyers who by good fortune or good job choice, have not found themselves without a job nor means to support their families and keep a roof over their heads. It is okay for folks to get some help, especially since the banks bear a HUGE burden in all of this, giving loans to folks who had neither the income to afford such nor the forethought to read the "fine print". Banks should have to eat nearly all of their losses on these bad loans. I live in Las Vegas, the foreclosure capital of this country, and I was formerly a real estate closing agent for an attorney back east, so I know of what I speak regarding bad banks, bad loans, etc. People with no homes have trouble keeping a job, thus more unemployment, guess who pays for that? The wheel goes round and round and if extending some help to folks in danger of foreclosure means that more people get to keep their homes and their jobs and keep spending, then I'm all for it.

    March 4, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  20. Michael McGrew

    The plan should help ALL homeowners. The ones that are playing & paying by the rules would have some extra "mad" money to dump back into the economy. Let's see with some extra money, buy a new American, GM, Ford, or Chrysler, vehicle.

    Also, they could cover their insurance, since they don't get all the free benefits like the illegals do. I'm still confused why Congress and that hag Pelosi want to help them. Hello, they are not supposed to be here in the first place.

    March 4, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  21. Kathy S. Cloughn

    We don't want to reward someone who is irresponsible BUT we do want to ensure that our economy and housing market are strong. If it appears that a person is in over their head then the Feds should let the foreclosure continue but help those who have a reasonable chance of success.

    We need to support our president!

    Me thinks the Repubs protest too much. Do you think they are trying to take the attention off themselves and put the blame on Obama...let's look for George!!!

    March 4, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  22. Tony

    Ryanna March 4th, 2009 2:13 pm ET

    Is fair to bail out the banks and the big cats ? So why not help those who really need it ?
    *****************************************
    They should have not bailed anyone out. Have these people done everything possible to keep this from happening like took on another job, cut back on their spending, quit going to McDs, stop drinking, quit smoking, sell their car, sell their jewlery, sell their tv, get rid of their cell phones, cut out internet, cable, and etc. Are they getting by on just the bear neccessities? Do they have kids that could do babysitting, clean yards, clean houses, etc? After they do this then and only then would I think about supporting this.

    March 4, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  23. Laurie

    You know, it's not fair to people who pay their bills on time and did not buy a bigger house than they could possibly afford, and did not get "tricked" (I still don't understand how that happens) into an impossible loan with a crazy interest rate. However–for those of us still in our homes, still paying our mortgages–your property value has plummeted. It will continue to fall unless something is done. More people will lose their jobs unless something is done. We will start to see families in homeless encampments unless something is done. So, for all of you God-fearing people who are angry because your money is going to help someone else–Help a brother, will you? Helping others will really help you out in the end, too. Nobody is delighted about it. But this country is circling the rim of the toilet, my friends, and unless you all want to go down in the last flush, stop with the righteousness. If you help one, you help a thousand. And you end up helping yourselves, too.

    March 4, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  24. Joe Q

    For the ones who can pay their homes on time, we should be thankful. hose who can't we should band togetherand help them out!

    We are Americans and an example to the world as our founding fathers would wanted it.

    The poor will always be with us!

    March 4, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  25. Jon

    I've lost my job and have not missed any payments because we SAVED (yes a foreign concept) money in case we experienced a job loss in our household. While I understand others have been put in bad situations, I don't feel like they should get a free bailout. Maybe they should have higher taxes later to compensate for what they receive from the government now?

    March 4, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
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