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. obongo

    This is how the Dems. operate. Save everyone especially those who dont deserve it. Why is this a surprise? All americans should default on their loans and cash in. Im sure lots of people will begin to do so. Why not now you have incentive.

    March 4, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  2. Cathy Brandes

    Unless I am mistaken, I was under the impression this program was only for those who have paid their mortgage on time and who now find themselves in a situation which puts them at risk for foreclosure, i.e. job loss, predatory ARM loans. Not for investors, not for those who bought more than they could afford. The rate of foreclosures needs to stop as we all lose.
    Strong, lets hope you don't have a medical emergency, job loss, etc because you could find yourself in the same position as those who now face those situations.

    March 4, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  3. Laverne

    Well life it not fair and if you are one of the people who have managed to pay your mortgage on time even under hardship that you are truly blessed. Not everyone who is on the brink of losing their home get into a predatory loan. They simply took a balloon or adjustable loan like many of us do and had no idea it would balloon or adjust so greatly. President Obama can't make everyone happy, but what he can do is what he is doing and that is fine by me. Be thankful if you are not at risk of losing your home and stop complaining for Christ sake, it could be you next!

    March 4, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  4. Kevin in Ohio

    Of course it is unfair to hard-working Americans who don't overindulge and who pay their bills on time! But what else can we expect from a Socialist president????????? This only serves to enable the irresponsible people to do it again...and again...and again. Don't worry, the responsible people still left in America will bail you out!

    March 4, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  5. Griff............... on The Truth...

    I love to listen to the speed of CNN... So Slow...

    March 4, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  6. Susan

    People should be eligible for help, if they are on time with mortgage paymens because that proves they are responsible. For the Obama Administration, being responsible and honoring commitments is a major hallmark. It's just that simple.

    March 4, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  7. Jonathan Seal

    The Steve has no spell-check.

    March 4, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  8. Kevin

    Obama strikes again. Redistribute the wealth and put in socialism. That's the far left for you.

    March 4, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  9. SG in VA

    The sorry fact about this is that most people who have a lousy credit rating don't pay their bills or don't pay them on time. We'll bail thess knukleheads out and give them a lower rate and you know what – They'll be back in trouble again.

    My wife and I should have been irresponsible years ago when we built our current house and we could have Sen Obama, Pelosi and Reid throw us some bucks. This is typical of democrats. It wouldn't surprise me if most of the folks in default are Democrats.

    March 4, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  10. Michael

    Arguably, isn't charity of ANY kind unfair?

    After all, people who lose their jobs and wind up on Food Stamps are getting food for free. Every other American has to go to work, earn their living, and buy their own food. From that perspective, people who chose their careers wisely, put away money for a rainy day, or found new employment quickly are getting a bum deal.

    But, sometimes it's necessary - because the long-term social cost of doing nothing dwarfs the fairness consideration.

    March 4, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  11. layo24

    @ srong
    Deadbeats huh?
    What about people who consistently paid their mortgages on time and then got laid off.
    There are some people that played by rules (key word some), if you lost your job and benefits to boot due to this recession, I doubt you would be quick to judge.

    March 4, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  12. Todd

    Personally, I don't like or want to see ANYONE suffer. There's no reason for it in this great country of our's!

    However, there is NO reason that the government should step in and 'save' people from their own stupidity! If you got an ARM loan, etc, or bought a home that you have no business being in, that is YOUR fault. Not the government, not the mortgage company – YOUR fault!

    My wife and I got the ARM, took advantage of the lower interest rate for the start, and then re-financed before the interest rate changed. We took the time to know what we were signing. Were the mortgage companies a little shady in what they were doing back then? Heck Yes! However, it is time that our citizens took actual responsibility for our choices and actions.

    Until that take place, no "messiah" or anyone else will be able to CHANGE things in this country!

    March 4, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  13. Lori

    Hmmm... What would I prefer spending my money on? Helping the Iraqis build and buy houses or helping my fellow Americans with their houses? Republicans say 'yes' to helping the Iraqi people with our tax dollars, the Democrats say 'yes' to helping fellow Americans. Who's patriotic now?

    P.S. Read the article, Repubs. It says 57 percent agree with the plan. They may not like it but they agree with it.

    March 4, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  14. John

    Welcome to the Obamatopia that you voted for. Enjoy!

    March 4, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  15. Jim D, IL

    Fine, then don't help those struggling with their mortgages, and then the whiners that pay on-time and think the program is "unfair" can watch their home values plummet another 50%. I guess they think that is fair.

    Use your brains people, stop being short-sighted and naive.

    March 4, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  16. bad

    socialism is the exactly description for this plan. It stinks. Those who spend within their mean get nothing. So being a good guys does not paid. So, try to be as bad as you can, you have a better chance to get away.

    March 4, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. Hase

    Stop whining. Refinance. I am doing just that. The whole situation has brought the interest rates very low and I am taking advantage of that and refinancing. It will save me about $300 on a $2000 mortgage payment. What's the problem?

    March 4, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  18. dap916

    I'd like to see a poll that compares helping these Americans keep their homes vs. the hundreds of billions of dollars given to the financial institutions with zero oversight who have been caught numerous times squandering a lot of those taxpayer funds on large bonuses.......or, versus the billions of dollars being given to the automakers/auto unions that have given up only token absurd wages and benefits while so many lose their jobs because of labor excesses that cause our country not to be competitive in the world marketplace.

    March 4, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  19. AnnMM


    But I think the way it is structured is unfair. We (the entire U.S.) couldn't afford it if all of the deadbeats foreclosed at once, so I appreciate that some intervention is necessary. However these jerks bought houses they KNEW they couldn't afford, with the idea they'd win the lottery or some such foolishness. They should have to pay every cent they owe, with the same interest rate I do, even if it takes them 50 years. That's all that should have been done.... extend the length of the mortgage, nothing else.

    I'm sick and tired of being penalized for being responsible.

    March 4, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  20. Annie

    If our tax dollars are going to help people with their mortgages fine....HOWEVER, it should NOT go to helping people who have have a second or third mortgage for investment purposes.

    Any mortgages who are NOT the primary mortgage should NOT be covered with our tax dollars.

    March 4, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  21. Kevin co springs

    Take it from the hard working living within there means people and give it to the I want it all now crowd. What else did you expect from the free hand out party?

    March 4, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  22. R in Maine

    Do you think that forcing foreclosures of your neighbors will help maintain your property values? Think again!!

    March 4, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  23. phoenix86

    If Obama would accept the Republican plan to suspend the payroll tax, then everyone would have an extra $100 per week. I would think that $400 per month extra to pay for mortgages would alleviate a large chunk of the problem.

    March 4, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  24. Zac

    This plan is not about those "deadbeats down the street who bought a house they (clearly) couldn't afford"

    This plan helps people who already do pay their mortgages, ON TIME. The catch is that their properties are now "underwater" as they have sunk into negative equity; that is, their mortgage is now worth more than their house. That and their rates have skyrocketed by no fault of their own.

    The only thing these people have done wrong was to buy a home within the past decade.

    March 4, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  25. Garrett

    It is UNFAIR and A BAD IDEA.

    Those people who think it will lower property values may have a point in the short term, but at least we will be able to find the real bottom to this thing. Obama's plan creates an artificial floor that will cost more and more $$$ to maintain. It will be a disaster!

    It is better to find out where the real bottom is and go from there. This plan is UNFAIR to everyone!

    March 4, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
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