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. Florence Samuel

    I am interested in Loan Modification of my current mortgage. Who to see, call,? Which entity will be the one to contact? Thanks.

    Florence Samuel

    March 4, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  2. Mitch

    Ok. I see where those "responsible" tax payers may have some heartburn over this. But just because someone is in dire straits today doesn't mean they were not responsible to begin with. I have a home that fit within my family budget. It was (unfortunately) purchased at a high point in the Florida market. Florida is always going to stay high, right? Wrong. They took one of the biggest tumbles. Now I am being relocated by my job (military) and I can only dream of selling my house and taking a 25% loss on. One option is to keep it and hope to rent it (again at a significant loss). I am stuck! I have to move! I have never been late on a payment, but now I have to maintain a house in Florida while obtaining shelter for my family in the D.C. area (expensive!). So where do I fall in the eyes of those high-n-mighty naysayers? I am one of many people that are being put in this position while serving to protect the tax payers. With no way to get around this dilemma.

    March 4, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  3. Odie

    So, who's allowed to own a plasma TV and a car?? Quit bellyaching and believing that every single person who is losing their home or unable to pay their mortgage is a DEAD BEAT. You don't know what caused their circumstance. It could be the fault of unscrupulous banks and finance companies. It could be anything that you don't have a clue about. Some of you act as if only DEAD BEATS have plasma TVs and cars. Some of you are whining and complaining about how unfair Obama's plan is......but it is also unfair for you to lump everyone together into one big DEAD BEAT status.

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

    first of all those who are saying obama is making our country worse better think again. he did not create this mess he walked into it . there are many people out there who payed their bills and by the way lost their jobs . if you can't find work you soon will not be able to pay bills if all of your savings are used up. i know i have been there done that.
    no one will hire an older person . you have to be young so you can be trained the company's way . plus they feel older people will cost them more for medical. so don't blame people if they can not pay their bills .
    yes some may have goten loans they shouldn't have but then blame the greedy lender who gave it to that person. our country is in a total mess . now we need to hope and pray we do get out of this mess that was made for 8yrs. do we want another 8 yrs of lies ? at least obama is trying give him that much or is it because people can't accept the fact that he is black ? he happens to be half white so he is not blaclk

    March 4, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  5. I_BLeaveNMiracles

    I am so relieved. I am also one of those individuals that pays all my bills and both my mortgages. Yes, I am stuck in two houses, I was never able to sell my first home after getting into my second, because of the housing market. So I have two mortgages.

    What do you do? Let it go? NO!

    We just don't have cable, maybe stop feeding my children soon. NOT!!

    Work is talking about furloughs and layoffs. So if I stop paying my mortgage as soon as I am furloughed, then I qualify for the bailout.

    We aren't done yet people. We are still spiraling downward. Maybe not as fast with the hope of a stimulus, but when it runs out and nothing is resolved, it will speed up fast.

    March 4, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  6. CHIPS

    In all that is done in this world. It's always going to be some people who benefit from it unjustly. Get over it. It could have easily been you.

    Yes we pay taxes, but you and I have never had any control of what they do with the tax money. If we had control, congress would not be increasing their salary when they feel like it.

    Lets move this country forward.

    March 4, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  7. arewethereyet

    "Americans may not like the plan — but that doesn’t mean they think it’s a bad idea."

    I think the real statement here should be "Americans may not like the plan- but what the hell can they do about it"?

    It really isn't up to us because those in charge are going to do what they want. So much for being a law-abiding, tax paying, credit worthy American 🙁

    March 4, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  8. JOHN

    Personal responsibility........................R.I.P.

    March 4, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  9. dumbocrat alert

    What would you expect from a liberal community organizer ?

    March 4, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  10. po'd in CA

    Leonard is right – it's robbery – this is not what I want my tax dollars spent on. We're breaking our backs to pay the mortgage. If you can't pay you're going to lose your house. It stinks but that's the way it is.

    The government is also stealing my money to pay for abortions in other countries. It's theft. I did not elect anyone to do this with my money. Who did? Anyone?

    March 4, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  11. Joe

    The program stinks because it doesn't help those of us who pay on time to refinance. I bought my home two years and put 20% down. Now I want to refinance to a lower rate, but can't because my home value has dropped enough where I only have 10% equity and banks won't let you refinance unless you have 15-20% equity.

    March 4, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  12. JOhn

    Maybe the responsible ones should get an incentive check for being good?

    March 4, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  13. Jim

    It's totally unfair, whether you've lost your job, have a medical condition or otherwise what's different now than has always been. Think about it, there are more than enough people in this country to buy the homes of those that lose them. You're only changing places, owners become renters and vice versa. What will happen is that the banks will be paid full price with new owners than a partial payment...AND LOST REVENUE...than those that lost the home. Also, those that can't afford the payment also can't afford the maintenance. Which means, they're bringing down the value of everyones home on more than one front.

    March 4, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  14. Fred

    As someone who played by the rules, has no debt other than a mortgage, and pays with cash, I hate the idea of using my tax dollars to bail out those who should have never taken out and home loan and up to their eyes in debt.

    That said, my home has lost 30% of its worth in the past year. And that's not as bad as most. While repugnant, if some of my tax dollars go to stemming foreclosures that would seem to be my best bet for not losing more value in my home. A few hundred tax dollars–or even more–if it keeps my home from dropping to 50% of previous value is worth about $100,000 to me. That's a pretty darn good return on investment. Fair? No. Good for me in terms of my balance sheet? Yes.

    It's ugly and nasty, and I don't like it, but I like the idea of my home's value dropping much less. It's not worth $100,000 for me to feel "I was responsible, they weren't, let them suffer the consequences". The consequences are too costly for me!

    March 4, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  15. Michele

    My husband and I have a mortgage. We bought our house when we got married 3 years ago. We made a decent household income ($75,000) and could easily afford our $153,000 home with a payment of $875 a month. We had savings, paid down our student loans, and began to plan for retirement (we are now 29). Then, my husband's company closed, due to the onwer's extramarital affair and ensuing divorce (easier to close the company than fight over it in court, I guess). There went $50,000 a year – 2/3 of our income. I take home $1,200 a month as a Catholic school teacher. We also have $300 in student loans. My husband has been looking for a job- any job. Our savings will help us for a while, but not forever. We've done everything right, as far as contacting all our creditors and explaining the situation to them. Most are willing to work with us, but not all. We've never been late on a bill and are current on our mortgage, but are terrified how long we can go on like this. The irony is that even if we wanted to sell our house, it wouldn't help us since our home is only "worth" $125,000 in the current market. We'd still owe almost $25,000 if we sold it now. This is so sad. We NEVER spent beyond our means, and it is heartbreaking for people to think because we might lose our home that we were somehow irresponsible. Things happen. Not everyone with mortgage problems is to blame. I wouldn't wish this on anyone, but you do have to be in the situation to understand it.

    March 4, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  16. helda

    WOW!!!! Why are people so selfish, it might be true some people over extended themselves on what they could afford to buy, but the majority of people got in trouble when they lost their jobs. If you remember this crisis didn't start until people started losing their jobs. I have a steady, well paid job, and I also have a mortgage that I pay on time every month, and it doesn't bother me that the president is offering help to those in need at this time. I have sister that owns a home and just lost her job of 20 years thru no fault of her own (company consolidated offices), always made and still makes her payments on time, and I hope that this program can help her..How come I don't read anybody complaining about the greedy builders charging exorbitant prices for poorly constructed homes, or the greedy banks getting all the money from Washington, just think, "there for the grace of God, go I". you might be the next ones losing your jobs.

    March 4, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  17. Sally

    I'm extremely grateful that we have paid our mortgage and I wouldn't want to trade places with anyone who has gotten into difficulty. I want to see the country revive and if this is what it takes, then so be it.

    March 4, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  18. YBM

    Ok, maybe the illuminati are behind Obama, or maybe he is the antichrist, or maybe he does have a piece of the spear of destiny……

    Or, maybe so many sheeple were just wanting to make history, or vote for him from misplaced guilt, or just voted for him because of the color of his skin.

    Whatever the case, it is obvious to people that think for themselves that he is on his way to ruining this country, sending it the same way the Roman Empire went.

    If we as a country want to survive as anything other than a 3rd world country, we need to elect people in 2010 that will block at least the most dangerous of his actions.

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

    Next Obama will be giving illegal aliens citizenship and a big check.

    March 4, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  20. Jodo

    This plan is terribly unfair to hard working people who lived within their means.

    I watch every dollar that I spend, and now I'm on the hook with the rest of the taxpayers for people who bit off more than they can chew.

    This is a bailout for deadbeats.

    March 4, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  21. Paul H

    "Americans may not like the plan — but that doesn’t mean they think it’s a bad idea."
    What kind of two faced statement is that?

    March 4, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  22. Mark

    My wife and I have always made our Mortgage payment on time. We have paid EVERY bill on time. I lost a 6 figure job and we are still making all payments on time, because we lived below our means. Now we are penalized in that we won't get our interest rate reduced! Our Mortgage payment was only 13.2% of our combined salary! We qualified for a 31% loan, but chose not to do it.

    Where is my rate reduction so we can pay our house off faster Oboma?

    March 4, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  23. mary

    It isn't fair–it's killing the hopes and dreams of many Americans. Why work your tail off for everybody else?
    I'm sure Gibbs does not like all this disagreeing with the Democratic administration–he's already challenging some reporters and talk show hosts...

    March 4, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  24. Give me Break

    Stupid Plan. I hope it back fires.

    Give EVERYONE a flat 4% interest rate. Bottom line. It would work.

    March 4, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  25. Matthew, Detroit

    Blame Barney Frank.

    He said the republicans were playing chicken little the sky was falling

    He said the market was just fine.

    Look it up on You Tube. They have the entire Senate and Congressional hearings on there.

    Facts are facts. Paulson, Snow, many others asked him to change it.

    He said NO.

    March 4, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
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