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. Steady

    More socialistic BS from Barry. Just another scheme to redistribute wealth. God help the USA!!

    March 4, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  2. Harry

    Barack Obama himself is unfair. What can we expect form him. He is brought up on the back streets of South side of Chicago as a community adviser. We have to live with it as we all made a wrong choice. All of us and our children/grandchildren will suffer because of our mistake.

    March 4, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  3. karuna

    I too am upset since I have been paying my mortgage regularly, although I could do with some help. However, on second thoughts, I feel that I should get away from the "me only" syndrome, and think of the whole picture. If there are others who could be stabilized with a little bit of help, and can keep up with their payments, this would of course help stabilize the markets and the economy, and this in turn, would help me in the long run. My investments and 401 would probably regain part of its value. So I will accept the for the long term effect. For where would all of us be if there is a total financial collapse. Perhaps it is not fair for now, but we have to help others in order to help ourselves, and can only pray that things will work out even as Limbaugh is praying to his 'god' for us all to fail.

    March 4, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  4. Andy

    Not fair? Barack NEVER said he was going to be fair. He will take care of his own, like every other failed politician. He does not represent change in any definition of the word.

    March 4, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  5. Dilligaf

    People, people, people. You haven't begun to see unfair from this clueless, fricking administration! They have only begun to re-distribute the wealth. Wait'll Cap and Trade comes next. That's about $1.50/gal increase immediately onto the price of gasoline, which will jack up the price of everything in this country. Think food prices are high now? Just wait!

    You losers who voted for this moron are gonna watch this gang of thugs destroy this country within 2 years.

    "The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of 'liberalism,' they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened." – Norman Thomas, U.S. Socialist Party presidential candidate 1940, 1944 and 1948

    March 4, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  6. sandee in Portland

    As a realtor and homeowner I applaud this plan. I, too, have always paid my mortgage on time, never refinanced and lived within my means. However, the equity in my home is slowly decreasing with each week that goes by. The average person doesn't realize how many jobs are supported by people that buy homes and people who own homes. Everything from the company that makes nails, curtains, furniture, paint,, lawn care products and more exist because of the homeowner. The downfall of the housing market is over 50% responsible for our economy downturn and until the market is stabilized, our economy will not get better. This plan should have been the first to put in place, ahead of bailing out the banks that won't give credit anyway. And...for the person that said they won't be able to deduct as much of their interest now. That is only true if you make over $250,000 a year, which the average homeowner doesn't.

    March 4, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  7. mstercor

    i really had to think on this. i pay all my bills on time, save what i can, so i understand the feeling of not fair. however, i also know that i am smart enought to keep my head above water so the people that arent smart enough can have the help. i am ok with it.

    March 4, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  8. This plan sucks

    Well its the Democratic plan to have a bunch of lazy welfare sucking parasites depending on them for everything and then that guarenties they vote Democratic everytime. If you are hard working and play by the rules well Obama just gave you the middle finger and said shove it.

    March 4, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  9. Odie

    My goodness don't be so judgmental............everyone is not a DEAD BEAT.

    March 4, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  10. Mary

    For the last 20 years people have looked down on my family for living within our means, buying second hand furniture and used cars, living in a modest home. Now those same people who held themselves up as better than us because they "owned" better things want to put their hands in my pocket to pay for them. This is more than an insult – it is an outrage! The only thing many of these people "own" is huge debt. Why should we have to bail them out? Now I can finally afford to get nice things, but much of our disposable income is being taxed out of us. It does not seem fair that those of us who earned the dream are now bailing out those who borrowed it.

    March 4, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  11. Shan

    We took out an ARM years back, knowing full well when it would adjust, what the possible max would be, and knowing we could afford it. When it adjusted it, our salaries were higher, and we refinanced into a fixed. Now, i don't even want to know how far underwater we are on our loan, and I'd love to have a lower interest rate, but we obviously can't refinance now. But when that makes me grumpy, I just figure – we have a home, we can afford it, and I think of it as a home, not an investment. That's just what it'll be for years, and I'm not going to begrudge anyone the opportunity to keep their home.

    March 4, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  12. Andrew

    If the government rewards those who can't pay their bills on time, it doesn't take a genious to realize that maybe they need to get a couple payments behind to get some breaks. If the government rewards those who DO pay their bills on time it will promote everyone to make sure to make their payments, and on time. If they offer lower interest rates and thus a lower payment, it WILL stimulate the economy because people will have more spare cash to be putting into the economy. This means more cars, appliances, repairs, and everything else that makes the "economy go round". Rewarding those who AREN'T financially responsible will PROMOTE IRRESPONSIBLITY and get us even in a WORSE situation than we are in. Use common logic people! This isn't rocket science!!

    March 4, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  13. jdquest

    When my husband died, thirteen years ago, I knew it would be difficult for me to keep up payments on a house so I opted for a mobil home which I share with an imperfect roommate. Unfortunately, due to poor health, I have not always been able to work and am glad I made that decision even though there are times when it is frightening to live here (storms). I like Obama but now I am seeing those, who didn't plan ahead, getting a bail out for their expensive mortgages while I have been waiting for almost twenty years for an affordable healthcare plan. Many of my financial problems have been the result of poor healthcare. I'm sixty years old and in poor health - my time is running out.

    March 4, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  14. Da Professor

    Where did you take that poll? In a red State perhaps? 99 out of a 100 Republicans do not understnad the Housing Plan and Obama should dumb it down to their level and release it again.

    March 4, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  15. Once you vote Black

    Franco Tirado you should be able to refinance. Check with another bank. At this point you should be able to get that nice 5%. Try a credit union or contact Freddie directly.

    March 4, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  16. Da Professor

    Whoops ... better make that "understand". My fingers slipped 🙂

    March 4, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  17. scott oneill

    most if not all the people in trouble are black. Remember, little Bill Clinton and the ever intelligent Barney Frank went to Fannie and Freddie and "told" them to make more loans to "those who wouldn't oridnarily qualify". They were out to obtain votes and money from a program that had failure written all over it. Now , as usual, those who could qualify, lived responsibly, sacrificed other things to make that monthly mortgage, have to pay the cost to help those "not so bright". Do we see a pattern here Yet?

    March 4, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  18. Brandon

    People who are complaining about this should have paid more attention during the election. Income redistribution affects everyone not just rich people. If you don't like it, stop voting for people who come out and tell you they're going to do it.

    March 4, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  19. JOHN

    Stop whining. Those of you who voted for Obama knew what you were getting, or, did you?

    March 4, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  20. No Vaseline

    Rethuglican haters out in full force again, eh? Your like the lost dog that nobody wants. Go crawl back in your hole

    March 4, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  21. D-MI


    I may disagree with your logic, but I applaud you on one thing:

    A HOME IS NOT AN INVESTMENT! It's a place to live. People who buy homes thinking they are going to make a profit from them should be shunned and branded. They have RUINED the housing market in the US for a generation.

    March 4, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  22. Budgets

    Things like this wouldn't be necessary if people simply lived within their means.

    Recessions/depressions/economic downturns happen once every decade or so. If you want to live it up when times are good, prepare to come crashing down to earth when times are bad.

    I lost my job 3 months ago, yet somehow I can afford to live without a change in lifestyle for the next 8 months and by revising my budget slightly, the next year. I just graduated college in May, so if I can manage to save up enough over 6 months of working, it's possible for almost everyone else.

    Why should money the government doesn't have (my generation is going to be paying off the interest and principle) be spent to prop up people who decided to stretch their money to live lives they couldn't afford to.

    In America, you don't "deserve" anything. If you want something, you work for it. Not everyone deserves to own a house or a nice car.

    Why should everyone else fund the lifestyles of others?

    March 4, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  23. Yelena

    We used our savings (big drop in income) to pay mortgage on time and keep high FICO score. When asked Bank of America to give us line of credit – they refused (base on income). We have huge equity in the house (live there long time). So, we get NOTHING from this BIG PLan, only will pay more in all kind of taxes for SOMEBODY ELSE, who were NOT GOOD (irresponsible)!

    March 4, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  24. Those of us that need help

    These are rough times. I hear people talk about how they did everything right and are now being punished. Sometimes little things add up like being stuck in a house that you can't sell and having to drive 250 miles round trip to work at $4/gallon or watching your grocery bill double for no good reason and having to feed hungry teenagers, or watching your utility bill skyrocket to over $800 (some people's mortgage payment) after you turned the heat down to save money. All of this while having a household income that is double the national average.

    I did everything right and had to use credit cards for food and gas(to get to work), I emptied all of my savings in order to keep from going under. That is what is truly unfair

    I am glad that President Obama is doing something. This is a whole lot more than what President Bush did during his 8 year takeover. We won't know for years whether it will work or not. but for every Rush Limbaugh fan who wants the President of the United States to fail, there are thousands who wish him all of the success that he can get.

    March 4, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  25. Once you vote Black

    To me the question is not is it fair, it is will it work. If it will work we should do it because it will fix the problem. If it will not work then the point is mute. But what if we don't do it because it is not fair even if it will work. Does that mean the housing market as well as the rest of the economy should not be fixed because to do so is unfair?

    March 4, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
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