March 4th, 2009
04:37 PM ET
14 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. lisa

    I pay my mortgage on time and can afford it. I would love for more people to get help any way they can! I can't refinance because of short sales and forclosures, that is whats unfair. If the government can help you get a lower payment so you can actually afford to live in your home and not ruin my chances of selling or refinancing, so be it.
    Whats unfair is people walking away from their homes they knew they couldn't afford and ruining it for us that can. We should all hope our neighbors can refi, maybe their places will be kept up and neighborhoods won't look run down and ruin it for the millions of us that actually do pay on time!

    March 4, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  2. Kevin Kelley

    I agree with the vast majority of Americans who want nothing to do with the Morgage bail out plan. Is crazy for those of us who have paid our morgages on time for years to support home prices in California and elsewhere. Homes in some states are way overvalued. Rewarding failure is not the way forward.

    K. Kelley

    March 4, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  3. Bob

    Welcome to the era of entitlement. The Democrats pushed for loose lending because everyone should have a house...no matter what...everyone is entitled. Now Obama leads the charge to rescue those who should not have been given mortgages to begin with.

    This is a terrible precendent to set. Once again, personal responsibility is replaced with government intervention. Nobody likes to hear this, but not everyone should be a homeowner. Those that save up for a downpayment and have the income to make the payments are the ONLY people who should be homeowners.

    Now those that made wise decsions are having to bailout irresponsible people. Oh..and don't tell me those stories about the evil broker who was out to get you....those are VERY isolated cases. The majority of people who are in foreclosure fell behind becase they didn't have the income to make the payments.

    March 4, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  4. Stortz

    Not that I have ever been there, or personally known someone who has, but I do empathize with those that are in the dumps do to catastrophic medical care/bills. I even empathize with those that have lost their jobs.
    That said I have to say, the majority of our citizens have zero idea what it means to be accountable for their actions. You no longer need to be rich to have a silver spoon shoved in your mouth, just tell people you didn’t know, you weren’t educated, it’s not your fault, you come from a broken family or you were abused as a child.
    If you didn’t learn in kindergarten that “Life is NOT Fair”, you never will. If one lesson can be gleamed from this financial crisis I hope it is: While you may be able to get by not playing by the rules and using your head, when you don’t play by the rules it affects EVERYONE around you.
    God bless this country and its people, even as a large percentage of parasites have infected our economy with their leaching, grubbing hands!

    March 4, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  5. Kevin

    Leonard: Congratulations on owning your home , that is a wonderful accomplishment. BUT PLEASE, do not be so judgemental. I decided to build a new home and in the middle of construction the sale on my old home fell apart. Now with the way the market is nobody is even looking at my old home , so I'm also trying to sell my new home. I'm paying 100% of my household income to mortgage payments. I'm willing to take a loss, but the market is so bad nobody is even looking. Whether you agree or not, our whole economy has been predicated on the housing market for about 15 years. With that falling apart, so does EVERYTHING else.

    March 4, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  6. Bob

    Welcome to the era of entitlement. The Democrats pushed for loose lending because everyone should have a house...no matter what...everyone is entitled. Now Obama leads the charge to rescue those who should not have been given mortgages to begin with.

    This is a terrible precendent to set. Once again, personal responsibility is replaced with government intervention. Nobody likes to hear this, but not everyone should be a homeowner. Those that save up for a downpayment and have the income to make the payments are the ONLY people who should be homeowners.

    Now those that made wise decsions are having to bailout irresponsible people. Oh..and don't tell me those stories about the evil broker who was out to get you....those are VERY isolated cases. The majority of people who are in foreclosure fell behind becase they didn't have the income to make the payments.

    March 4, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  7. The Rest of Us

    My house lost $145k in value, but I still have to pay on the original loan. Because someone went over their head and their house value dumped, they get to rework their principle or get a lower rate. I'm stuck with my principle and I don't see a plan to help me recover what I lost in equity on my home. I did refinance, but I'm still stuck with what I borrowed. You want to do something fair? Extend the loan out to 40 or 50 years to lower the payments, but make the borrower still responsible for the loan amount they accepted.

    March 4, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  8. cleojw

    Spare me the speeches. In the past if you couldn't afford your home or you loose your job, you file bankruptcy, regroup and start over. You dont depend on someone to pay your mortgage. You cut the cable, sell one of the cars and sell the flat screens.

    March 4, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  9. Buddy

    Let Barney Frank the Banking Queen bail them out. His boy friend toke millions from Fannie May.

    March 4, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  10. REBEL-1

    Unfair? Obamanation does NOT care, he has told us so. Afterall he has croonies to pay back!!!
    The Market trashes, he says is my way or the highway. Talks about being bi_partisan – as long as you agree with him.......

    March 4, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  11. zee

    It's not unfair...I pay my mortgage on time but I have an option ARM loan that defers the interest and every month the balance on my mortgage goes up. I'm not able to refinance because I'm under water and the value is noway near what I currently owe. It's about time that someone is stepping up to help me and other Americans in the same predicament and not just themselves.

    March 4, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  12. For all you who fear "socialism"

    For all of you who use the word "socialism" that the Republicans keep throwing around – do you even know what it means????

    If you hate socialism – then when are you going to sign up to end your Social Security checks and stop receiving Medicare benefits?

    Did you know all the "Socialist" Republicans in Congress get an unbelievably excellent healthcare plan from the government for FREE and they have never complained about that??

    You should investigate the healthcare plan members of Congress get for FREE. You couldn't even buy this level of coverage if you could afford it! No deductibles – no disease not covered – no worry about pre-existing conditions!! NO members of Congress can dare deny healthcare coverage for Americans when they have the most incredibly excellent healthcare coverage for FREE and oooooh for all you "socialist" fear-mongers, it comes from the government straight to members of Congress!!!! If they have it, then we aren't entitled to what they have ???? I'd love to hear their backtracking on defending their own "socialist" healthcare plan!!

    March 4, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  13. Voter

    Fair? There's nothing fair about any of this.

    You want to know about "Fair?" Call George Bush and ask him why he did this to the American people.

    He really is a stupid and ignorant man, so don't expect much in the way of an answer.

    Half of America sat back and watched while the Supreme Court selected him over Gore, only to vote for Bush again giving him A SECOND TERM!

    Fair? Just getting around to worrying about FAIR, are you?

    You're a little too late.....

    March 4, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  14. Scott, Boston

    Mortgage plan is unfair. Stimulus bill is a waste of money. Budget is out of control. Can't find Cabinet members who aren't tax cheats. Wall Street hates his economic decisions. Want to raise taxes. IS IT 2012 YET????

    March 4, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  15. Sue F

    People simply do not look at the big picture, I pay my mortgage, and live within my means, however, because people are losing their jobs, they are also losing their homes, which means my property values go down. It went down in value $7,000.00 last year, if the housing crisis isn't fixed, then the economy continues to tank, more and more homes will be empty and dragging the neighbors values down even further. So, some people bit off more then they could chew, however, if you read the plan those people must meet some pretty stiff requirements in order to get any help. I want this economy to turn around, it's not going to happen unless the housing problems get fixed people. Think about it, and READ THE PLAN!

    March 4, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  16. ALLOW ME TO REINTRODUCE MYSELF...

    If your foot gets cut off, will you be able to move around properly?

    If part of our economy fails, the whole thing fails. People being out of work and out of homes effect all Americans.

    March 4, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  17. Rob Johnson

    "While nearly two-thirds think the plan is unfair to those who follow the rules, 57 percent say they approve of the package,"

    I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around that.

    So 24% of Americans support a plan they think is unfair? Unlikely.

    Somebody didn't phrase their poll questions well. That is the only possible reason for these conflicting results.

    March 4, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  18. Jim in Miami

    For all those we believe keeping people in homes they can't afford will somehow prop up the market are naive. It is only a temporary delay on the inevitable. These same people will default in large numbers eventually. It does nothing for all the new, unsold inventory. It prevents the reallocation of people into lower cost segments of the market (lower cost homes or rentals) and the decline in prices required to bring in new buyers who can absorb the inventory. In the end, the only thing that will set home prices on an upward course is an increase in demand or a decrease in supply. Construction must stop – it is inevitable. Inventory must be absorbed as painful as that may be – and the only avenue to increase demand is to allow prices to fall and liquify the lending markets. Let the market work. Obama believes he can manage macroeconomic issues I suspect he does not even fully understand as a lawyer. As he is doing is squeezing the balloon.

    March 4, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  19. I_BLeaveNMiracles

    Wow, I am so relieved.

    March 4, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  20. Bob from Missouri

    Now the Illlegals are setting on top of the world.

    Obama has got a job for each and everyone. Those that need a home , Obama will provide you with one , an a good paying job , more and likely over Union Scale . All you have to do is , vote Democratic . Any futher help , Barrack will get it for you, drivers lic. Need a New Birthcertificate , he will provide that to the illegals also .. For futher information , you can contact Pelosi all hours of the day .

    THIS IS YOUR CHANGE < NO WONDER ALL HE KNEW WAS PRESENT < WHEN HE WAS IN THE SENATE.

    NEVER LET A CRISIS GO TO WASTE , OBAMA NOMICS

    March 4, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  21. jdquest

    To Obama supporter:

    I know a little of the struggle you are going through and wish you the best. Life can be so complicated, at times, and I pray you have the emotional and spiritual support that you need as well as financial. I hope I didn't sound judgmental in my previous post. I just want people to understand the impact of not having healthcare is as significant as losing your home. Unfortunately, there are a lot of cold hearted people out there who make rash judgements about people who have problems. I just hold on to what the Bible says, "Judge not that ye be not judged. " I wish that more Christian people were truly "godly". God bless you.

    March 4, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  22. Kathy

    It is inherently unfair. What is the incentive to be responsible if you end up paying for the irresponsibility of others? People need to take responsibility for their bad decisions. This is more of the same private profit, public cost. The areas that are experiening the most foreclosures ( California, Florida, Arizona, New Mexico) also experienced more of an economic boom in the previous years. those people made out better than the rest of us in the boom times and now they want us to pick up the tab during the bust. THey should have saved some of the extra during the boom to pay their bills during hard times. Oh, but that would be responsible, wouldn't it. I have made mistakes in my life and have paid a price for every one of them. But hey, if 9 million people are going to be feeding from the public trough, then maybe I should just join the feeding frenzy.

    March 4, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  23. Thomas

    Watching CNN and other channels covering this whole mess it seems to me they think "rent" is a 4 letter word. Given that home costs have departed from costs to rent the same places, people that would lose their home would get to move to a rental that's probably as nice or nicer than the place they lost for less more a month! And on the other side, these efforts slow the inevitable correction which hurts existing renters that have been been patient that would like to buy a home some day.

    March 4, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  24. Tom in Delaware

    I'd like to see the breakdown of the defaulters race from our new Administration of Transparency.

    In keeping with Affirmative Action, if one race be represented too strongly by the bailout, then institute a 'Cap and Trade'...just like Herr Hitl...I mean Obama wants to do with Energy.

    It is, after all, my tax dollars that are paying for it, so I have every right to know.

    March 4, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  25. GOP = Greed Over Poverty

    If you are old enough to have a mortgage, then you are old enough to have learned life is not fair.

    So, quit whining. None of us with mortgages not in default like it, but we care for the economic future of America more.

    March 4, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
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