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February 18th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 2/18/09

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Want to share your thoughts on the stories we're covering tonight? You're in the right location. Just scroll down and post your comments. This is where you can "chat" with Anderson and Erica during the program.

Want to know what we're covering tonight? Read EVENING BUZZ

Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
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5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

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Filed under: Live Blog • T1
soundoff (976 Responses)
  1. Dodie from Irvine, CA

    Erica! I was hospitalized for 12 days last year and the bill was over $200,000 not including the surgeon's charges... yes who can afford not to have medical insurance. I have good insurance but I hope every working person in the USA has access to affordable insurance

    February 18, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  2. Andrew, MD

    @Karen – Remember that most of the fight is not about "doing something" it's about how it is done. Whether the stimulus or the bank bailout plan or the foreclosure mitigation plan. There is no question in anyone's mind something needs to be happening, but how is a big debate. If you ask me, until you actually stop falling asset values as a whole, which begins with home values (this plan is a start, but has things that reach beyond the stated purpose), you won't see things improved. And this means all asset values. So, don't get too frustrated. The debate is a healthy thing. It is what SHOULD bring out the best ideas, if given an appropriate amount of time and a common sense discussion.

    February 18, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  3. Sharon S

    I can tell you about the Wild Animal thing because my father was into this sort of thing we had and raised many animals but we were wise and good to our animals but to say that it is OK???

    Never! Never would I say anyone should have or raise these animals it takes a lot of intellect and time most people are not willing to put into it!

    SO this was a Horrible end to a poor animals life over some humane stupidty and selfishness!

    February 18, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  4. Maryalice

    How will people be able to pay for these "new" housing loans with no jobs?
    I think these banks that gave these bad loans need to be responsible, not us taxpayers who didn't buy into the baloney qualifications of borrowing.

    February 18, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  5. Lauren--NY

    BettyAnn my thoughts are with you as you undergo surgery. 🙁

    February 18, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  6. Danni

    I think the President's plan is excellent! I don't understand where people are getting the idea it's a "bailout". It's not a bailout when people are able to keep paying their mortgages and all of us benefit when our home values are not decreased by foreclosures in our neighborhoods. What's with the outrage?

    February 18, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  7. Glen Up North

    Mary and Mike (and others who feel the way you do), it is hard for me not to sympathize with your feelings: it must not feel fair to live appropriately within your means and then have to "bail out others", so to speak, with your tax dollars. I fear, however, that by this point there are so many people being affected by this situation (most notably, banks refusing to give loans out, even to people with great credit) that refusing to help out those who have not been entirely "living within their means" leaves much, very much credit wrapped up in these "bad loans". It's the Tipping Point in a negative light, so to speak: when enough people default on their loan or experience hardship, everyone ends up suffering. I see Obama's efforts as trying to keep the U.S. economy from the Tipping Point.

    February 18, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  8. Ashley - Hamlin, NY

    BettyAnn and Hill – I completely feel your pain. I needed surgery to repair a broken femur six months ago and I was in the two different hospitals for a grand total of five days. My hospital bill was well over 125k. Luckily I had auto insurance that covers it. But as a "young person" it becomes insane to pay for everything. College tutition itself puts us it debt, so we just hope nothing bad happens until we get a job. Irresponsible? Absolutely. But we can't afford much else.

    February 18, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  9. Romaric NY

    hello everyone... first timer :

    February 18, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  10. peter

    Holders comments are outta line

    Powell, Rice under Bush and now Obama as President.

    More white's,percentage wise, voted for obama than african americans for mccain

    I don't think , as americans, we're cowards

    Peter

    February 18, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  11. bill matselboba

    im simply bill, 20 yrs in real estate, title ins, and mortgage lending. If fanne mae and freddie mac , made a 6% loan to all those that wanted it (owner occupants and prime residence) and charged normal refi fees, their payments would probably be $300 a month less on avg.. Normal profits would help rebuild fannae and freddie, while helping those in need and the banks could go pound sand, while taxpayers might have their burden reduced... ask the economists and great financial geniouses whats wrong with this plan.............

    February 18, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  12. James

    Ok, we are all glad Anderson is back, folks, but is this a fan club or a discussion about the mortgage rescue President Obama has put forth.

    If the dollar numbers being tossed out are taken at face value, then that works out to about $8300 per rescued homeowner. How can this administration and Congress think that they can implement this without having responsible taxpayers asking whether such altruism will be around if they hit hard times or where it was when they hit hard times over the years? President Obama and his surrogates can explain the stake that responsible taxpayers have in not letting their neighborhood become a ghost town and that’s fine as long as it always applies; and if it always applies, that is fine too, as long as we all want to rely on our government to meet these and all our future needs.

    I, and many other Americans like me, do not mind pitching in for the good of our nation. We do, however, have a big problem with pitching in for the worst of our nation. The former is being abused by the bad precedents being set almost on a weekly basis these days, with a totally disregard for the latter. The upside of all of this can only be socialism. The downside to this is almost without bottom.

    February 18, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  13. Lorna

    Even if some dishonest people get something they don't deserve, the advantage to me is to see the economy improve to the point where I might get back some of my 401K. I pay my mortgage every month and will not directly benefit from the stimulus – but millions of us will be better off with a sound economy.

    February 18, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  14. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    by the way, How come Anderson does not write on this blog?

    Anderson is so busy right now, he will write his blog sometimes......

    February 18, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  15. Marian

    Give me a break!!! i am still working and at 70 still able ....No one has ever bailed me out......Now I pay for all the idiots who had to keep up with the "Jones"...and there are many of them......

    February 18, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  16. Tinkeraw

    Do people with jumbo loans get help from this new package? We would love to modify our jumbo into two loans .... a main one and a second with a lower interest rate. My wife is out of work and my income has decreased.

    February 18, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  17. Gary

    How can anyone here justify the mountain of debt being placed on our children?

    February 18, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  18. maggie g

    I am all for the plan even though I am not in trouble currently. I have confidence in the President and his administration and pleased that he is not procrastinating. He is what the Country needed and the negative individual who are complaining has no clue how to deal with the economy and real estate issues. Tell the lady with the yellow outfit on to wait to wait and STOP making assumptions. She appears to be a person who would think that "the cup is always half empty" I wouldnot like spending time with her.

    February 18, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  19. Janine from PA.

    I'm wondering if people who would have found good bargains with allthese foreclosures can't really buy because they lost a lot in the stock market? Would the market need to rebound a bit to help the housing crisis?

    February 18, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  20. Mike, Syracuse NY

    @Tom in Philly. No one forced those people to sign those mortgages with balloon rates built in. They did it own their own, and I refuse to pay for their stupidity.

    February 18, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  21. Isabell

    Until I starting watching AC360 about a month ago, all news anchors blended into a tapestry of monotonous similarity. Anderson has the singular ability to capture both heart and mind with his warm authenticity and penetrating acumen. He was missed this week!

    February 18, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  22. Pam

    I am curious and frustrated at the same time with this bailout. How are we supposed be stimulated by the economic situation when you file your taxes and the government takes your taxes to pay for student loans which we thought were in forebearance at the time or even making monthly payments. We are struggling just like alot of other Americans and do get our tax refund taken because it is intecepted by the Government to pay back student loans doesn't help the situation. We of course would have been able to use those monies help pay bills. When does this bailout, help bail out John Q public in our own struggles. With all of the bail outs going on with Chysler, GM and those people who make major dollars, we the struggling population are supposed to help them get bailed out. What about us.

    February 18, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  23. biba

    Erica Hill, i have lived in Cannes france for two years and i really appreciated the fact that health insurance is very accessible there...I paid less 20 euros once after a trip to the ER...very nice!

    February 18, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  24. Leslie

    Good evening everyone,
    I do not understand. On one hand, people want President Obama get something done. Than on the other hand people do not like what President Obama doing. I mean good grief. I understand some people have good credit and have done a good job who are current. PRAISE THE LORD! I applaud you. However, there are some people that does not have good credit and who are not current. I mean if you die right now, it would not matter if you have good credit or not.

    February 18, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  25. Neil in Houston

    Why am I paying for my neighbors Vacation and cruise to Hawaii and Monte Carlo, their multiple trips to Vegas and the exotic chandelier and other high priced furniture in their home?

    Here is the story of a friend who bought a New home in Tracy, CA in 2004.

    The cost of the home at that time was 350K. I paid 20% down. My neighbors also bought the same model at the same time with a 3% down payment.

    They refinanced with a 3/1 Arm cash out in 2005 for 500K because the value of the home had gone up. I did not do any such thing and just continued to pay my mortgage. They quickly spent the money on buying the exotic chandelier and other high priced furniture in their home and went on a Vacation to Hawaii and then on a Cruise to Monte Carlo. In between they had time to party out in glitzy Vegas.

    In 2008 their first re-set took their payment way above what they could afford and they fell behind on their payments. The current value of the home is back to what it was valued in 2004 – 350K.

    Now, per some of the advocates of foreclosure prevention, a principal write down (from 500K to 350K) is going to be handed out to my neighbor by the government using my tax dollars, so that he can continue to pay the same monthly payment as me after having run through 150K of Tax payer money! Thus forcing me to pay for my neighbor’s luxuries?

    Both of us have teenaged kids. I did not indulge in any of the splurges that my neighbor indulged in. I saved money equal to 8 months of living expenses just in case I lost my job and put away some more in a CD so that it could help pay for my kids college tuition fees!

    February 18, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  26. Cindy

    Come March 4th when they tell who is or isn't eligible for the housing bailout there will be A LOT of mad people who think they should get money but won't. Obama's gonna have some angry citizens!!

    Cindy...Ga.

    February 18, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  27. Mary from Florida

    To Karen – I beg to differ with you, respectfully. The VALUE of my home has plummeted. So we have already paid up to $300,000 in lost equity...thank you. Yes, this economy, caused by greed in every sector of the economy, could cause us to loose our home in the future, if my husband loses his job...yes we are all in this together, but those who bought more house than they needed, need to let it go.

    February 18, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  28. Patty from Pennsylvania

    I am at a total loss in comprehending how on earth anyone would solve the foreclosure problem without spending money. Stopping the steamrolling negative impact of the growing foreclosure problem will help all homeowners in the long run. It will help stabilize home values and in the long run set the stage for a growth cycle.

    February 18, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  29. Nattada, Houston TX

    Glad to see you back, too. Erica.

    Excited to see the help starting to get out of the house. It may not be perfect at time, but at least someone gets help finally. I understand some frustration from some home owners who were doing right thing and trying so hard to stay in their means. Hope they get helps, too.

    February 18, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  30. King

    What's up Coop?

    February 18, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  31. denise

    I for one, think the president's housing plan is a good one, even better than the stimulus bill; and it's going to benefit someone like me- responsible buyer who purchased at a traditional fixed rate but was laid off 6 months ago. Up until December , I was able to pay on time, but not after severance ran out and I'm living off measly unemployment pay. If my mortgage company agrees to refinance me at no more than 31% of my income, I can afford to pay my mortgage and other bills-on time.

    February 18, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  32. Gloria

    Anderson, I'm always amazed how people assume President Obama is out to help people who don't pay taxes ( buzz for minority). If those folks were able to pay their house notes up to the increase in interest, then they were paying taxes also. Federal taxes are withfrawn from everyone's pay check even at Mcdonalds. Americans must know that more majority citizens are on welfare than African Americans. It is the same argument used about tax cuts durig the primaries. The assumption was made that people will benefit from his plan that were not working. How do you get a tax cut if you not bringing home a check? Words are being used that indicate racism just as the police officers shooting the monkey is racist in the New York Post.

    February 18, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  33. matt e

    what really gets under my skin is that i am working my ass off everyday and paying 4 house payments and the people that cant even pay one mortgage is being helped so what is my incentive to pay my mortgages i should just throw in the towel and let the banks have all that debt back. it seems instead of putting americans more into debt obama should just pay off everybodys primary mortgage off even if you not in trouble but that is just my say.

    February 18, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  34. Dan

    This $75B housing legislation should have been in the original economic stimulus package; both packages which hold no one accountable or responsible for their actions. All of it is hogwash.

    All you hard working, competent tax payers pick up the tab – AGAIN! No thank you or anything for your efforts; either, from your elected officials. You work and pay taxes, they take and spend your money. Never give up though. Make your voice heard!

    February 18, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  35. Dodie from Irvine, CA

    I guess I am extremely lucky! I understand the city I live in is the only city that has maintained its home value.

    February 18, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  36. Amy, Atlanta

    We are middle class tax payers living within our means – we pay our mortgage and our bills on time. Clearly we are in a crisis. But is this just another safety net for those who haven't lived within their means? I'm not happy about my tax dollars paying for others who were not finacially responsible.

    Also – it sounds so complicated that it is more political than anything else.

    How can our government sustain all of these bailouts? Is there a point when our government becomes bankrupt? Of course we can print more money, but at what point does the dollar value deteriorate so that no one else wants US $? We can't do this forever!

    February 18, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  37. Jean

    I am just curious why our economy is spiraling so out of contol so quickly now since President Obama took office. It hasn't even been a month. Why are we seeing the ill effects now, when they had to have known months ago such as Greenspan. Why didn't the Bush office alert us in a timely manner?

    February 18, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  38. Paul Allen Billings

    Eric Holder is right Anderson, this is no big surprise. I am glad you are talking about it.

    February 18, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  39. john

    what is going to happen to those who have lost their jobs and can't afford to pay their mortgage? Unemployment will increase this year, so there will be even more foreclosures.

    February 18, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  40. EJ (USA)

    Anderson is looking quite healthy today.

    February 18, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  41. Rick

    after 18yrs was laid off. bought a home 10 years ago. never been late, my fico score is 783. ( great credit) , now countrywide will not work with me. THe only way is to mess my Credit up!!! Im trying to do the right thing but with no help! If i mess my credit up , will not be able to get credit in the future! what do i do

    February 18, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  42. Evan

    Eric Holder is right about that comment, you want to know why ? I am sure you do , here is the answer , why don't you link the cartoon story, that should solve the puzzle, Americans are not only coward , stupid as well.

    February 18, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  43. Tom

    I think the mortgage bailout is OK but we should have a treshold on income – maybe say $250,000 in AGI. Why should we, the poorer taxpayer reward people with a 400,000 ARM and greater mortgages. They made a bad decision, they have to take the lumps. I certainly would have to take my lumps if I made a bad decision.
    Tom
    Duluth, Minnesota

    February 18, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  44. Sharon S

    Yeah those of us who did the right thing and bought homes we saved for and have the correct loans this is unfair to us!!!

    February 18, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  45. Ron S.

    What does Mr. Obama's plan do for those who were responsible but who became disabled and lost their income; and, have no short/long term disability payments that can possibly cover and avoid foreclosure. The mortgage companies don't seem to care about "responsible people" who had health misfortunes.

    February 18, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  46. John

    Who is going to be the watchdog for fraud during this mortgage bailout? I have already heard of one individual who owned a house in Florida and was so upside down on his mortgage that he couldn't sell his home. So he put the mortgage in his wife's name, bought a smaller house in Missouri in his name only and qualified for a mortgage, then let his Florida home go into forclosure. Who will stop abuses like this? Or who will stop the individual who is capable of payijng his mortgage, but chooses to stop payments for several months so they can negotiate a lower rate? Where is the fairness in all this? What about those of us who were conservative in buying a home and didn't buy the house for twice as much?

    February 18, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  47. Al Dean

    We really should and need to consider real estate raffles to help homeowners in trouble. This solution would work if done at a large scale.

    Look house raffles provide a win solution for everyone involved.

    1) The distressed home owner sells their property for market value.
    2) Non – profit organization receives income from the Raffle.
    3) A lucky individual wins a home!
    4) Plus the losing raffle ticket holder gets to feel really good about making all this possible.

    I just CAN NOT believe we are not even considering this as a solution.

    February 18, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  48. Wayne

    I am with the group that is unable to refinance at a lower interest rate, even though I have a 743 credit score, house is worth more than I owe, no other debts, yet I can't get refinanced because I "don't qualify"?? Who actually "qualifies"? I am wondering why I am playing by the rules when it seems left and right people are walking away from their houses, filing bankruptcy and in 3 years can turn around and get a mortgage?

    Glad to see you back Anderson Cooper!!! Glad to see these issues being addressed.

    February 18, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  49. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Wow!!!!! Erica.....
    That is so lot money right now!!! I am sorry for her...

    February 18, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  50. Kevin

    Want to make a bet? How many home owners will benefit from this lateset Housing Crisis Bill, I am guessing about as many as were helped by the original TARP, which by the way they sold to us as banks will be more willing to lend and work on existing loans....

    This is a bunch of bunk. Banks get bailed out even more. The worst of the damage is already done. I lost my home already, was't on an ARM, had a normal good loan I qualified for and made payments on for years. Lost a job in Manufacturing, already owed more than house was worht after bubble burst..... Help? Give me a break. Only lesson I learned is to be more like Bernie Madoff.

    February 18, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
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