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. arithmetic is liberal

    I'll never understand, ever, ever, ever, how someone can call themselves a 'dittohead'.

    I was raised to value free thought, to question authority, and always keep my mind limber by throwing out bad ideas when they come along and accepting new ones that make more sense.

    A dittohead seems to be the antithesis of this.

    I would like to hear from a Limbaugh fan, a self-professed dittohead, WHY you like this title, and WHY you would apply it to yourselves.

    As far as I'm concerned,
    dittohead = wears a dunce cap

    March 4, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  2. JP

    This weekend Shila Blair FDIC chairman stated to public radio, it would simply impractible to review old mortage applications and try to distingush between honest and dishonest borrows. This is sick. So Obama doesn't care if people lied to get a loan they couldn't afford. Also I have see nothing in the proposal that attempts to screen out people who took equity out of their home to buy a new car or plasma tv. The worst part of this disgusting proposal is the it allows judges to throw out contract law and rewrite mortgages. If you want a mortgage in the future and the bank knows its contract is worthless you are less lilely to get a loan and if you do it will cost more because now the bank has more risk. Thanks Obama for making our lives worse going forward so loan liars can keep their homes.

    March 4, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  3. Eric

    Those who oppose this bill and Obama's iniative's really need to ask themselves if they believe that "you are your brother's keeper". It has always struck me as odd that so-called Christian conservatives fail to support policies that help out their fellow man. This policy is not only good because it helps out people in need (although admittedly some who don't deserve help will benefit) but it helps the whole to stop the bleeding in the housing market, as well as stabilizing prices by preventing foreclosures. Its time we realize that we are all in this together, all Americans.

    March 4, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  4. Susan

    Life isn't fair. Those of us who are still employed and able to pay our bills should be grateful for this help to others, as it will spur the recovery and help all our home values get back to where they were. Be grateful for what you have, and let's stop bickering over help to those who need it. I have several siblings unemployed and needing this help. I am grateful!

    March 4, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  5. Unbelievable

    OK, yes, if you lost your job and were paying your mortgage on time prior to that, please help them. HOWEVER, I have seen the plan in ACTION and let me tell you, the person i know that got help only showed that their mortgage was paid up because they called a few months in a row and had it deferred to the end of their loan because they couldn't afford it for a few months NOT because they lost their jobs but because they bought a NEW tanning bed for $5000, new couch for $1200, new washer & dryer.....collectors are calling her at work and she entered a debt consolidation plan...OH, but her mortgage (currently at over 10% interest) is paid in full because it was "adjusted" Now she's getting a NEW mortgage at less than 5% interest while I have 800 credit score, never missed a payment can't refi for anything better. Explain this to me?

    March 4, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  6. AVR

    The plan is intended to stop home price depreciation. Without that, nothing can be done for anyone's mortgage, the banking system cannot stableize, bank lending cannot resume, and the economy cannot recover, and the stock market (your 401ks) will remain at low levels.

    When home prices fall and foreclosues go up property taxes increase, because the tax base shrinks, but not government services (Police, schools, etc).

    March 4, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  7. scott, London

    A bailout for those that have been paying? Doesn't sound like they need a bail out!

    "took a adjustable rate or balloon loan and didn't realize it" – JUST PLAIN STUPID! read what you sign, think a little

    more forclosures don't cause more forclosures, they are caused by nonpayment. at some point those with money, and there are still quite a few of these people (they just don't bleat on about it), will enter the market and start buying the houses.

    a lot of this is just spending and won't fix anything. If you still have a job and make your house payments on time, you may be able to refinance, unless you have so much debt you don't qualify anyway! And as a lender, if the government comes along and "encourages" (forces) me to change the loans and kills the profit in the deals I have remaining, It will be a cold day in you know where before I start loaning money again. No one is talking about how this will change lending practices in the future, but its high time someone did.

    March 4, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  8. pattie

    To make the Program fair, for everyone, anyone who is willing and able should be able to take advantage of the lower interest rates
    Its a fact that we are all upside down, but the ability to take advantage of lower rates would be a great thing for all.
    Lenders can do rate modifications for all of those who have been paying on time.

    March 4, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  9. dave from pittsburgh

    Well I hope all you idiots that voted for Obailya are happy. Take yesterday for instance. 60 jobs were created, but we lost 700,000. were only down 699,940 jobs! As for rewarding all the leaches of society for not living within a budget and buying houses that they don't belong in in the first place is ridiculous. Alot of these people got their buddy bankers to give them loans for houses. I've paid my bills(by myself) and live within a budget. Now you (Obailya) want to renogotiate these loans so these people can stay in their houses (that they couldn't and still can't afford). Just give everyone in this country $10,000 which will stimulate the economy much better than bailing out these banks and the crooks that work for them. That way you are rewarding the people who live responsibly not just the leaches.

    March 4, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  10. NRMD

    Talk about unfair whole day long: Social security, Medicaid, Medicare, bailouts, disability payments, frivolous law suits, War expenses, homeland security, illegal immigration, immigration policy on legal residents, educational expenses, Foreign policy, Tax cuts, car insurance, health insurance, 401K, energy prices, price grouch CEO payments and their lavish parties etc. the list goes on. If you are wise you know, the government does not work for good people. It only works for people who does not respect or deserve it. People who take lot of help from it, will say it is not enough. People who work for it, will say, it does not work for them. I learnt when I was 5 years old. When I was driving a bullock cart, I was taught to hit not the bad one which is not pulling the cart, hit always the good one to steer the cart well. Government runs the same way folks. Are you good or bad? If you can tell that, you got the answer.

    March 4, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  11. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    I was going to write that check to my mortgage company today, but I guess I won't bother. Why should I? There's no apparent downside–all you tax-paying suckers out there will take care of it for me.

    March 4, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  12. ATR

    Whether fair or unfair, it is clear that most people support the plan because it will stablize the housing market. If you are paying your mortgage and have a job, thank your luck stars, but, understand that if dozens of houses in your neighborhood are or will go into foreclosure, your housing value will decline. BTW, wasn't it McCain who was urging the govt. to buy up all the mortgages where homeowners were upsidedown? This plan is way better than that.

    March 4, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  13. AB in MN

    You have to remember that if you're not getting any money and your neighbor is getting their rate reduced to stay in their home and not go into forclosure, then, your home value won't drop more then it already has. If we don't stem forclosures then all of us home owners are going to lose even more value on our homes. We have to help the less fortunate so they can help us.

    March 4, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  14. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    As long as speculators aren't helped, I'm good with the plan.
    Now, if I could just get someone to buy my house at a fair price...I'm praying.

    March 4, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  15. Jay

    The government should not be in the business of buying people houses. It sucks that these peoples' investments didn't pan out, but that ulitimately is their problem. Would they being give the government their profits if their house went up in value? Will they return the profits when this action by the government artificially inflates housing costs again? I don't think so. The idea that the government is going to bail people out of mortgages for property up to $700K is ridiculous! Those who realized that what was going on in the housing market was destined for failure are getting screwed 2x, once when they bail out those who can't affort their homes, and a second time when housing prices get inflated again because of the bail out.

    March 4, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. Dan

    If taxpayers are paying for deadbeats to keep their homes, then there is less money for those same taxpayers to buy homes for themselves. This will lower the price of housing because of decreased demand.

    If home prices lower for a while because people lose their houses, people who actually pay their mortgages will buy the cheaper houses, and then demand will go up more because we are not paying the mortgages for deadbeats out of our tax money.

    The bigger theme here is wealth redistribution, anyway. This is just a part of it.

    March 4, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  17. Karen

    Special treatment? Why not? It's about time the taxpayer got special treatment. Please, use my tax money to help those who are struggling, not banks and corporations. Banks and corporations deserve to go down and so do their ceo's and some upper echelon employees. We've had a corrupt business model touted as the ideal for too long, and it's time to end worshiping the unethical.
    Average people get into trouble for all kinds of reasons. Who can say they've lived a flawless life? I'm happy to bail out my neighbor. I'm not happy to bail out AIG and Wells Fargo.

    March 4, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  18. Dennis

    Yeah and bailing out the banks and AIG wasn't fair either. But, unfortunately because of the situation we're left in by the previous regime it's going to have to be done. I for one don't want to see more foreclosure signs around my house and the subsequent further drop in my own homes value.

    Like all of these plans/programs we need to give it a chance. Unless you're one of the Rushies that want this country to fail so no one would remember you caused it!

    March 4, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  19. smokesignals

    I am continually appalled at the basic ignorance of the public.
    Read the dam plan!
    And realize that most of these people who need help are not deadbeats. They are people like me, a small biz owner, who got trapped in a failing economy, reduced sales and income and there was no way out.
    I've already had to sell my home of 15 years for a reduced amount, walk away with nothing and am busy trying to save my little business. The plan won't help comes too late thanks to the Republicans, but maybe it will help someone else.

    March 4, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  20. dana fitzgerald

    Well, it's like the parable of the vinyard: those who came early may have worked a bit longer than those who came late, but in the end, those who came early got to go home sooner because of the latecomers, and in the end everybody was blessed and nobody was unjustly enriched.

    March 4, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  21. What Plan ?

    For those of you who are saying read the plan – go stuff it !! I just got off the phone with my bank. There's no help for me. The problem is, I worked my butt off, I saved for a down payment and I make my payments on time. I bought my home 3 years ago for 250k. Other homes in my area are selling for less than a 100k. Am I the bad guy here ? I have a neighbor who bought their house for 300K. But, they had no business buying a house and couldn't even afford their initial payments. Yet, they are getting help. What the hell is that ? You people call that Republican Spin ? That is real Freaking life. Screw the good guys to take care of the lazy ?? This is sickening....

    March 4, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  22. Doug, New Jersey

    A lib-Democrat supporting fairness and equality is like an Al Queda terrorist supporting pacifism.

    Libs wish to punish those who work hard and play fair, people who do the right thing, are honest, and have morals and values.

    I don't need to ask again what type of person you are if you support them, evil or ignorant is obviously the only options.

    March 4, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. RH

    If they really wanted to stimulate the economy, they should have a 3 month moratorium on mortgages. For 3 months (April, May, and June) no mortgages are collected, and those three months are added to the end of the mortgage. This will put money in everyone's pockets, and they will spend the savings.

    Would like to hear the pluses and minuses to this suggestion.

    March 4, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  24. sick of complainers

    Kevin in Ohio

    You could be only a paycheck away from being behind in your payments and on your way to live on the streets, you need to be careful what you say. Wow you haters are so pathetic

    March 4, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  25. Ex-Republican

    some of you people crying 'no fair' are such pieces of crap! Stop complaining and be ready to fix this mess.

    I pay my mortgage on time, have never missed a payment. This isn't helping me one bit. But it's needed. Shut up and cry me a river you worthless whiners!

    March 4, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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