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February 18th, 2009
10:16 AM ET

Q&A on the foreclosure plan, and what it means for you

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Questions and Answers for Borrowers about the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Borrowers Who Are Current on Their Mortgage Are Asking:

1. What help is available for borrowers who stay current on their mortgage payments but have seen their homes decrease in value?

Under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan, eligible borrowers who stay current on their mortgages but have been unable to refinance to lower their interest rates because their homes have decreased in value, may now have the opportunity to refinance into a 30 or 15 year, fixed rate loan. Through the program, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will allow the refinancing of mortgage loans that they hold in their portfolios or that they placed in mortgage backed securities.

2. I owe more than my property is worth, do I still qualify to refinance under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan?

Eligible loans will now include those where the new first mortgage (including any refinancing costs) will not exceed 105% of the current market value of the property. For example, if your property is worth $200,000 but you owe $210,000 or less you may qualify. The current value of your property will be determined after you apply to refinance.

3. How do I know if I am eligible?

Complete eligibility details will be announced on March 4th when the program starts. The criteria for eligibility will include having sufficient income to make the new payment and an acceptable mortgage payment history. The program is limited to loans held or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

4. I have both a first and a second mortgage. Do I still qualify to refinance under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan?

As long as the amount due on the first mortgage is less than 105% of the value of the property, borrowers with more than one mortgage may be eligible to refinance under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan. Your eligibility will depend, in part, on agreement by the lender that has your second mortgage to remain in a second position, and on your ability to meet the new payment terms on the first mortgage.

5. Will refinancing lower my payments?

The objective of the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan is to provide creditworthy borrowers who have shown a commitment to paying their mortgage with affordable payments that are sustainable for the life of the loan. Borrowers whose mortgage interest rates are much higher than the current market rate should see an immediate reduction in their payments. Borrowers who are paying interest only, or who have a low introductory rate that will increase in the future, may not see their current payment go down if they refinance to a fixed rate. These borrowers, however, could save a great deal over the life of the loan. When you submit a loan application, your lender will give you a "Good Faith Estimate" that includes your new interest rate, mortgage payment and the amount that you will pay over the life of the loan. Compare this to your current loan terms. If it is not an improvement, a refinancing may not be right for you.

6. What are the interest rate and other terms of this refinance offer?

The objective of the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan is to provide borrowers with a safe loan program with a fixed, affordable payment. All loans refinanced under the plan will have a 30 or 15 year term with a fixed interest rate. The rate will be based on market rates in effect at the time of the refinance and any associated points and fees quoted by the lender. Interest rates may vary across lenders and over time as market rates adjust. The refinanced loans will have no prepayment penalties or balloon notes.

7. Will refinancing reduce the amount that I owe on my loan?

No. The objective of the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan is to help borrowers refinance into safer, more affordable fixed rate loans. Refinancing will not reduce the amount you owe to the first mortgage holder or any other debt you owe. However, by reducing the interest rate, refinancing should save you money by reducing the amount of interest that you repay over the life of the loan.

8. How do I know if my loan is owned or has been securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac?

To determine if your loan is owned or has been securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and is eligible to be refinanced, you should contact your mortgage lender after March 4, 2009.

9. When can I apply?

Mortgage lenders will begin accepting applications after the details of the program are announced on March 4, 2009.

10. What should I do in the meantime?

You should gather the information that you will need to provide to your lender after March 4, when the refinance program becomes available. This includes:

· information about the gross monthly income of all borrowers, including your most recent pay stubs if you receive them or documentation of income you receive from other sources

· your most recent income tax return

· information about any second mortgage on the house

· payments on each of your credit cards if you are carrying balances from month to month, and

· payments on other loans such as student loans and car loans.

Borrowers Who Are at Risk of Foreclosure Are Asking:

1. What help is available for borrowers who are at risk of foreclosure either because they are behind on their mortgage or are struggling to make the payments?

The Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan offers help to borrowers who are already behind on their mortgage payments or who are struggling to keep their loans current. By providing mortgage lenders with financial incentives to modify existing first mortgages, the Treasury hopes to help as many as 3 to 4 million homeowners avoid foreclosure regardless of who owns or services the mortgage.

2. Do I need to be behind on my mortgage payments to be eligible for a modification?

No. Borrowers who are struggling to stay current on their mortgage payments may be eligible if their income is not sufficient to continue to make their mortgage payments and they are at risk of imminent default. This may be due to several factors, such as a loss of income, a significant increase in expenses, or an interest rate that will reset to an unaffordable level.

3. How do I know if I qualify for a payment reduction under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan?

In general, you may qualify for a mortgage modification if (a) you occupy your house as your primary residence; (b) your monthly mortgage payment is greater than 31% of your monthly gross income; and (c) your loan is not large enough to exceed current Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan limits. Final eligibility will be determined by your mortgage lender based on your financial situation and detailed guidelines that will be available on March 4, 2009.

4. I do not live in the house that secures the mortgage I'd like to modify. Is this mortgage eligible for the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan?

No. For example, if you own a house that you use as a vacation home or that you rent out to tenants, the mortgage on that house is not eligible. If you used to live in the home but you moved out, the mortgage is not eligible. Only the mortgage on your primary residence is eligible. The mortgage lender will check to see if the dwelling is your primary residence.

5. I have a mortgage on a duplex. I live in one unit and rent the other. Will I still be eligible?

Yes. Mortgages on 2, 3 and 4 unit properties are eligible as long as you live in one unit as your primary residence.

6. I have two mortgages. Will the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan reduce the payments on both?

Only the first mortgage is eligible for a modification.

7. I owe more than my house is worth. Will the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan reduce what I owe?

The primary objective of the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan is to help borrowers avoid foreclosure by modifying troubled loans to achieve a payment the borrower can afford. Lenders are likely to lower payments mainly by reducing loan interest rates. However, the program offers incentives for principal reductions and at your lender's discretion modifications may include upfront reductions of loan principal.

8. I heard the government was providing a financial incentive to borrowers. Is that true?

Yes. To encourage borrowers who work hard to retain homeownership, the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan provides incentive payments as a borrower makes timely payments on the modified loan. The incentive will accrue on a monthly basis and will be applied directly to reduce your mortgage debt. Borrowers who pay on time for five years can have up to $5,000 applied to reduce their debt by the end of that period.

9. How much will a modification cost me?

There is no cost to borrowers for a modification under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan. If you wish to get assistance from a HUD-approved housing counseling agency or are referred to a counselor as a condition of the modification, you will not be charged a fee. Borrowers should beware of any organization that attempts to charge a fee for housing counseling or modification of a delinquent loan, especially if they require a fee in advance.

10. Is my lender required to modify my loan?

No. Mortgage lenders participate in the program on a voluntary basis and loans are evaluated for modification on a case-by-case basis. But the government is offering substantial incentives and it is expected that most major lenders will participate.

11. I'm already working with my lender / housing counselor on a loan workout. Can I still be considered for the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan?

Ask your lender or counselor to be considered under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan.

12. How do I apply for a modification under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan?

You may not need to do anything at this time. Most mortgage lenders will evaluate loans in their portfolio to identify borrowers who may meet the eligibility criteria. After March 4 they will send letters to potentially eligible homeowners, a process that may take several weeks. If you think you qualify for a modification and do not receive a letter within several weeks, contact your mortgage servicer or a HUD-approved housing counselor. Please be aware that servicers and counseling agencies are expected to receive an extraordinary number of calls about this program.

13. What should I do in the meantime?

You should gather the information that you will need to provide to your lender on or after March 4, when the modification program becomes available. This includes

· information about the monthly gross income of your household including recent pay stubs if you receive them or documentation of income you receive from other sources

· your most recent income tax return

· information about any second mortgage on the house

· payments on each of your credit cards if you are carrying balances from month to month, and

· payments on other loans such as student loans and car loans.

14. My loan is scheduled for foreclosure soon. What should I do?

Contact your mortgage servicer or credit counselor. Many mortgage lenders have expressed their intention to postpone foreclosure sales on all mortgages that may qualify for the modification in order to allow sufficient time to evaluate the borrower's eligibility. We support this effort.


Filed under: Bailout Turmoil • Housing Market • Raw Politics
soundoff (483 Responses)
  1. Here's the kicker--

    The big kicker in all this is that the stimulus plan includes a $8K tax credit for first time homebuyers. This tax credit phases out for single filers making an AGI of $75K.

    SOOO... the stimulus bill includes an incentive for homebuyers who can't necessarily afford a home? Isn't that how we got in this situation in the first place?

    February 18, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  2. C

    To answer some of your questions...

    Per many state foreclosure laws, a foreclosure sale cannot be reversed unless you can prove it was held illegitimately.

    If you continue to make payments on time, NO you won't receive the $5000 (unless your existing mortgage is modified through this package) or likely see any benefit. …Nice… Your mortgage company MAY reduce your interest rate, but if it's already relatively low, then there's nothing in this bill (or any others) to thank you for being responsible.

    This bill (and all the other recently-passed packages) provides no incentive for first-time homebuyers.

    Fannie and Freddie are mortgage pools. Your mortgage may be held by either, regardless of whom you're sending payments to.

    Missing one payment will not likely send your home into foreclosure. The process doesn't typically begin until the 3rd-5th month of missed payments, and takes anywhere from 60 to 300+ days depending on state foreclosure laws.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  3. Tom From Albany

    this is pretty simple. If the loan companies extend the mortgages to 40-60 years instead of 30 the people can lower their payments, still have to make the payment and the mortgage company gets to keep the income stream. Not one dime of my tax dollars goes to this bailout then and people can stay in their houses.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  4. Chris

    So, again us taxpayers are paying for the people who made very poor decisions. This time buying a house, they could not really afford. In some big cities property values where going up 10+ percent a year, for many years, but wages maybe 3 percent a year. Simple logic says that what goes up, must come down. I have seen my home value go down about 20 percent in the past two years. I saved and had a 25 percent down payment when I bought my house in 1998. I have read that some lenders where letting people buy a home with almost nothing down. A huge red flag! For the first few years of mortgage payments, very little principal is paid, most is interest to the lender. Now a majority of these people owe more to their lender then their house is worth.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  5. jay

    What about those who rent houses? Isn't it freedom that we brag about why is the government forcing us to take loans and mortgages? Loans and mortgages brought us recession; the government doesn't get it "A problem cannot be solved by the same consciousness that created it".

    In my whole life I never took a loan to buy anything, I either have the money to buy it or I don't buy it until I save enough money to buy it, probably for most fellow Americans this sounds like an alien talking, but this is the real solution to our economy; if you give loans to everybody then the number of customers increases which inflates the products value and hearts the economy at the end this is what happened to us and this is what will happen again, no wonder the dollar value keeps decreasing; we are being robbed in day light (yeah happy that you saved $10,000 in the 80s well now it is worth less than $5,000, which means half your money was stolen by the government's policies and it is legal robbery).

    February 18, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  6. talkgoldcom

    Ok so I worked hard, paid off my mortgage completely, and now have an asset that is worth 40% less then what I paid. Now what? I am asked to pay even more for people who made bad decisions and didn't read and understand the papers they were signing?

    February 18, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  7. KC

    I live in a home in Detroit that i have a $250,000 mortgage on at 5%. I have list of 40 homes from 1-5 minute walking distance that have sold for the average of $42,000. I have paid all my payments and done all the right things and now I am $208,000 upside down based on the current home sales.

    I think everyone have really over-looked that those of us who have played by the rules are seeing no help and you will see a flood of us walking away from these homes leaving even more foreclosures on the market. I cannot continue to pay on a $250,000 mortgage when i can walk two doors down and by the same home for $42,000.

    /I dont care what it will do to my credit if i can reduce my current payment of $2200 which includes taxes and insurance to $835 by walking away from my home and buying the house two doors down for $42,000 and have a payment of $835.00 saving $1365.00 per month.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  8. DC

    The only ones that are making out is the BANKS and the CEO's running those banks. While the Government sends them billions to help them defray the losses from foreclosures, the Banks are foreclosing, selling the houses on the market at half their original price but still making up the loss with the billions the government gave them. The taxpayers get the shaft again and the politicians, Wall Street and the wealthy sit back, smile and drink their champagne....

    February 18, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  9. Cindy

    People if you had to take out two mortgages on your home, you could not afford the house you bought. You were greedy and now we are all paying for it. Thanks a lot.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  10. Mike

    This foreclosure plan really not beneficial to people who are working hard and renting a place for a long time just to save up a large down payment for a buying a house for the first time. Instead of helping those people who made bad choices on their own, why not helping the new buyers with their initial down payments or have some regulations on the house prices? Some area like alhamra and monterey park are still ridiculously high. This plan is really disappointing me.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  11. Angry

    People are so upset at the government trying to help homeowners.....the question is – WHAT is going to happen if they don't help people to stay in their homes? Values will continue to decrease....and will not rebound, unless people can stay in their homes. What about the people who's income have been cut in half (ie, me)? I went from making 90K per year, down to 38,000 last year. I cannot afford my payments any more....which I had been able to do previously. I cannot sell my home, as I have lost more than I have invested into it. I am over 100K negative in equity...I CANNOT refinance. I have used all of my savings, cashed in my 401K....and have no additional income with 3 kids. What about people who have lost their jobs? MAYBE, this can help them through a time when otherwise they would have lost their homes and will provide some stability to the market. I will lose my home without help. THEN, on top of everything, if your home is forclosed on....you cannot buy for another 5 years.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  12. Here we go again

    So let's see, all the people that bought a house that they couldn't afford in the first place want a handout. Whatever happened to the days when you lived within your means. I personally think that they should limit the interest rates on credit cards. I think any bank that chagres 25% to 33% on their credit cards should not be eligible for a handout.

    I guess my parnets were wrong. I should have bought a house that I couldn't afford. I should be fiscally irresponsible in how I run my business. Then when I am in trouble I should put my hand out and wait for all my self imposed problems to go away. I am just glad that I realize this so I can change the way I am raising my kids. I should teach them to gamble with all their money and wait for a handout. I just can't wait to see the mess we are going to leave for my grand children.

    Some day I hope the "experts" realize that this country was built on manufacturing and until they fix the manufacturing in this country we will all be introuble.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  13. Jim

    This is the new feel-good government. No responsibilities–the government will take care of you. And it's FREE!!! You don't have to pay for it!! Isn't it wonderful? President O will go after those big, bad companies who make money and make sure they pay for it. Oh, and the evil rich, soak them too! 35% of their money isn't enough–why not go for all of it?! (Except for Tom Daschle and the head of the Treasury, of course.) As for the frugal populace who saved and lived within their means, take the money from them as well. They don't deserve it, YOU DO!! Pretty soon the government will own everything and we'll just wait for a check from DC. Can't wait for the 5 year plan.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  14. Ray Furka

    Boy do I feel stupid for not buying a house I couldn't afford and then stop paying the mortgage! How about the government "bails out" the responsible people instead and give us the deadbeats houses when they are foreclosed on? So far the responsible, intelligent people are paying for the auto industries mistakes, the deadbeats of America that don't know how to read loan docs., and eventually we'll all be paying for everyone's health care.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  15. Meidy

    This is beyond ridiculous. What's next? Reducing apartment rent? What's the difference between a foreclosure and getting removed from your apartment for non-payment of rent. Nothing. But only one statistic (foreclosures) is tracked. I have no problem letting people refinance from high interest rates to current rates.....but nothing else.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  16. Paul C

    I declared bankrupcy four months ago ( chapter 7 ), the bankrupcy has already been discharged, I have no credit, the house wasn't involved in the procedure, but I'm still struggling to pay my first and second mortgage. Can I still benefit from this Plan? What can be done about my case? The house is worth less than what I owe, and I'm sure there are thousands of citizens in this same situation.
    thanks
    PAUL

    February 18, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  17. hai

    bailouts seem good,but homeowners must pay back if they make profit s when selling their houses

    February 18, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  18. http://www.easyfatloss.us

    This is a joke. It's a voluntary program! And the only people eligible are those whose home is only 5% underwater. I live in California and the homes here are, on average, worth 32% this year than they were last year.

    And its getting worse. This program is a bust and won't help those who really need it.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  19. Marley

    There's one solution that would solve all of America's economic woes: LEGALIZE IT!

    February 18, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  20. Betty

    Bought a house within my means with a conventional fixed rate mortgage, put 20% down, make my mortgage payments on time and I GET NOTHING. My 20% equity is gone, no houses are moving in my community and I can't even refinance without bringing money to the table for a 80/20 loan. THIS IS FAIR, HOW? This foreclosure plan is just a bandaid on the hemorrhaghing gaping festering wound that people who can't live within their means have made for themselves. Guarantee that the numbers will tell in years to come that the same people "helped" today will need PUBLIC TAXPAYER ASSISTANCE in the future when they further mismanage their finances.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  21. Wrong Change

    I must have missed the part of the constitution or Bill of Rights that said everyone is entitled to a home. I feel sorry for some folks because they are behind of their mortgage due to unforseen circumstances, so I feel sorry that they are lumped in with all the stupid people out there who chose to use their homes as a cash machine and overextended themselves. I am sick of paying for, and rewarding people for their poor choices. What happened to saving for a rainy day? What happened to living within one's means? Why should I have to pay for people choosing to buy houses they couldn't afford, or aren't smart enough to read about how their rate will adjust and understand the consequences. I am sick of rewarding people who used the equity in their houses to buy stuff they didn't need and lacked the foresight to understand the consequences on their budget, assuming anyone budgets these days. Solcialism is here and it doesn't seem anyone cares that a certain segment of the population leaches off the hard work and common sense of the other segment. So sad. By the way, I know CNN "moderate" the comment out, but I have to vent somewhere.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  22. Tanya K. Bishop

    Is there anything out there for someone who lost their home due to foreclosure? I worked with Countrywide for over a year, doing all I could by sending documents, statements of hardship, Federal Income tax documents... I then went to my County Assessor and had my home and taxes for the current market rate. After these things were done, my taxes came down OVER $4000.00 per year, only to then have my home placed for sale January 7, 2009. I am a single grandmother who is raising my two orphaned grandchildren..... I drive over 550 miles per WEEK to keep a job that makes $12,000.00 less a year although I am working with the same company (AT&T), the though of someone now walking into the home I put somuch into, getting it for the current market rate AND haveing payments that are affordable makes me sick to my stomach!!!! H E L P!!

    February 18, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  23. ace

    Jp Morgan Chase Bank funded a loan I recinded and closed and could not move in for over 6 months . That is why we are in the mess we are today.. The lady who spoke about Chase contact an attorney and sue the bank. It iis the American thing to do.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  24. Razor

    How do we stop this mess from getting worse?? How do we protest the money being thrown out to people who are not financially responsible while punishing those of us who are?? Vote against Obama in the next election. Vote out the current members of the Senate and House who are supporting these pieces of legislation.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  25. Missy

    D Newsome,somone may have already answered you, but in the stimulus I believe there is a credit to first time homebuyers.. To those of you complaining about having to pay for the mistakes of others... what would you have The President do? Nothing? I don't see that as an option. We all suffer MORE if the foreclosures keep piling up. Unfair, yes. But realistic. Something has to be done. I too pay my bills on time and have for many years. But it appears President Obama can't win no matter what he does with some of you people.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  26. Jen

    I pay my mortgage on time and have wanted to re-fi for a long time, but have not been able to because of dropping values. I am hoping to take advantage of this plan as I did everything correctly, but got a high interest rate of 6.75% because that is all that was available at the time. If I can re-finance to 4.5-5%, I will be a happy camper.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  27. Tim

    For all of those out there who think this plan is to help lazy Americans looking for a hand-out: imagine you lose your job (which you very well may), stay unemployed for over a year because jobs are being outsourced overseas or dissolved completely, have to pay your mortgage using your savings or 401(k), can't sell your house because the housing market is in ruins, and have to pay out the nose just for health insurance (because, after all, you're unemployed).

    Keep in mind that a lot of people in need of assistance didn't buy a house that was out of their range. They don't spend money frivolously. They are in this situation because of situations out of their control.

    Every one can find a reason to complain about any government program. This one just so happens to be the hot issue now. What about immigration, two wars, police being killed by guns bought illegally, and social security?

    Two certainties in life are death and taxes. It's the price we pay to be Americans. Some day, when you are in an unfortunate situation, you want a government that will help you when no one else will.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  28. Wake up America

    So if I am struggling to pay on my mortgage, because I have a second mortgage payments also to have a new car and truck and boat and ever new toy that comes along, I can participate.
    What benefit is there anymore for people to live within their means?None. Why should you. Bailouts and government aid is everywhere.
    I drive a 19 yr old truck and a 12 year old car. I would love to have a truck that had heat and a radio that worked. But having good credit is something that was drilled into my head as a young kid. So here I have never missed a mortgage payment in 19 years. It is paid before anything. What an idiot I am. I should have a new truck and a new car and maybe the government would help me out.
    Now new homebuyers are given a $8,000 tax credit that they do not have to pay back. So they will be able to buy a car with the money. And here is the idiot-me--struggling because 19 years ago when I had to buy a house, I had to have a downpayment, good credit and explain anything negative on your credit report. I am a Realtor by the way and find this incredibily wrong. When you give people something for free, few respect it. We should have learned that in the last 8 years with all of the 100 percent financing and no credit needed to buy houses attitude.
    We, as a country, had better wake up. There is no personal responsibility for our actions anymore. There is no consequenses for your actions, whether you are a corporation or private citizen. We are losing the American Way. Wake up for Gods sake!

    February 18, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  29. Roger Moe

    FYI.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  30. John Smith

    I am in a difficult situation, too. A few years ago, I took a job in another part of the country, and bought a home there. I could have sold my existing home, but didn't. Deciding to rent it out instead. Well things didn't work out for me in the other job, so I returned home. By this time, the market had plummeted and we could not sell the new house we bought, so we rented that one out, at a loss of over $300 a month. This loss was painful, but not too big of a deal because my wife's salary would more than cover the gaps, even if it went unrented. Well, my wife left me with both houses, and now I have to make up the difference in rent vs payment on my salary alone. Along with the payments on my current home and all the other bills I got stuck with. Now, I am technically considered an investor and there is nothing to help me. I pay everything on time and have never been late, even if it means living on bolonga and ramen every once in a while. I just want to get rid of this other house. I don't care about it, and it is now costing me over $400 a month with a renter because the city raised the property taxes. If I ever lose the renter, I will be screwed.

    Where's my bailout?

    February 18, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  31. Debbeetoucan

    Why doesn't this bill also cover VA mortgage loans? They are the ones that have given their lives, safety and health for this country! Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been corrupted for years. This is just another step towards the welfare state that the Democraps want. Yes, I spelled it correctly!

    February 18, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  32. Why is it my responsibility?

    So what do all the people who stayed current on their mortgages and didn't default on their loans get? Our reward is higher taxes to support other people who weren't as responsible? I understand there are some people out their who truly deserve it, but why is it at the middle classes expense?!?!?!

    February 18, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  33. chrissy

    What about people who already have a low interest rate? My ARM is 4.75%. I have a 1st mortgage that I pay principal and interest and a second mortgage that is interest only. Modifying my mortgage won't help me. I have a great rate. My problem is my husband lost his job and my property value is about 60,000 BELOW what we owe.

    How does this this plan help someone like me? I can't qualify for a re-fi because without my husbands income we do not make enough money. Why would I continue to pay on a house with no value? I have always been on time with my payments, I call my bank begging for help and they tell me because I am not late there is nothing they can do for me.

    At this point, the bank can take the house, I will move into the foreclosed home down the street for about 100K less.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  34. joe_conservative

    Again, those who make good decisions have to pay for those who do not. I guess being a Democrat means never letting people face the consequences they create.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  35. Texico

    What are you refering to sir? Bad choices of others as in "Home Buyers"? If my wife and I could afford a home then one of both of us gets laid off how are you considering that a bad choice? Let me tell you the problem with this country......we did this to ourselves! This has nothing to do with Fanny and Freddie this has to do with the basic problem of sending our jobs overseas for GREED! More profit for the 5% in this country! Our Rich started selling us out in the early 70's and look at where we are now. We are on the verge of becoming the largest 3rd world country in history! We will have to sell our Military to pay for things...

    Have have a question for all the CEO's out there........what was wrong with 25% profit? Why did you have to try and get 200%? I remember the last TV made in this country was a Curtis Mathis in 1986......do we still make anything? The only thing that can save us now is manufacturing in new forms of power......other than that we are going down for the count.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  36. Half A. Brain

    This is hilarious! So people that don't qualify for any relief because they managed thier finances wisely do not get anything (LOL). This is as funny as watching my 401K evaporate.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  37. Justin

    Everyone complaining about the homeowners bailout need a reality check. The past year has been filled with nothing but bailouts for the not so average joe. The joe that has lots of money. The joe that has swindled lots of people. All of you people complaining about 'bailing out' people who made bad choices give me a break. I lost my job. I had to take an income cut. I can't afford the payment. Period. I can't refinance, WHY? oh, because the value of the home has plummeted. I can't refinance, WHY? oh, the banks have these silly 'rules' in place that they seem to follow only when it comes to taxing the middle class. And now, my credit is scrapped. So, I can't refinance. I have 750's credit before this debacle. I worked hard. I paid my bills. So please, get off your high horse before you start complaining about this bill. Stop blaming the 'person' for wanting to own a home. This bill is peanuts compared to what was given to big banks, and fat cat investors. Also, if you read anything, the bank still has discretion to participate. If I had to place a bet, the banks will let their customers hang out to dry once again.

    Get some facts first, and stop complaining.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  38. Tammy

    What about people that have already given their home back to the lender like a year and a half ago, when the economy started to go downhill and before all this help was available. We filed a chapter 13 and handed back to the lender our home. Now we are screwed and so is our credit. Not very fair.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  39. Sharon

    Ginny, exactly. They all want the help, but they don't want to help people like us (Homeowners) with it. What happened to the first round of bailout money? They didn't want to lend it. They hoarded it. People like us who are current with their mortgage but are feeling the pinch and starting to struggle will get less help than the ones in default, let's just wait and see. The good ones are never rewarded. I will not be able to refinance because I now owe more than my house is worth. Who will get the low interest rates? The ones who are in default. And that is fine that they are getting the help, that is what this is all about, but what about us who are walking a fine line? I plan to contact my financial institution on March 4, or sooner to see what I can do.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  40. pissedoff

    welcome to socialism. obama-care for the medical industry is next.

    however, all is ok. thereis no need to worry about declining home values, diminished 401-Ks, and th elos in value of every other asset that you as a responsible tax-paying individual has purchased. the saviour, Massa Obama, will wave the magic Treasusyryt wand, ckoick his ruby red slippers, and voila – you will live in a deluxe apartment int he sky and drink Grey Goose and eat caviar foe the \rest of you live.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  41. Furious

    Gee, it seems the only way to win in this new economic order is to be incompetent, irresponsible, and parasitic. Although it's against my nature, I'll do my best to meet these new requirements. Maybe then I'll get some of my own tax money back, at least.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  42. Another hosed taxpayer

    So, what's the bailout plan going to be in 10-years when those of us who lived and purchased responsibly are no longer able to make our house payments because our tax rate has increased to 40% in order to payback all of this socialist deficit spending?

    February 18, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  43. Thet Win Kyaw

    Good news. Be prepare to gather all document by March 5.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  44. john

    I heard a new nickname for freddie Mac and fannie mae....Free money,free mortgage.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  45. Brenda

    My mortgage was a fraud and forgery. My broker filled out an application, used a bogus SSN, lied about my income, and signed the application. Although I had given him all my bona fide sources of income. Rather than tell me I did not qualify, he waited until the night before closing to tell me what my payments would be which exceeded my take home pay! I begged him to disqualify me but he refused. I would have lost my deposit if I reneged. have written everybody and relevant agency–no help/attention. I am faltering in payments now, having lived on credit cards since 2005. I don't see anything to help victims of fraud who are trying to manage the situation. I can't afford a lawyer. What now? I have worked at my place for 12 years. Paid taxes, sent 3 kids to college. Where's the justice/help in this package?

    February 18, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  46. Mark

    We bought our home for 450K and the current mortgage is for $400K. The current home value is roughly 280K. Will I be eligible under any program?? I have prestine credit and never late on my mortgage payment. Very current.

    Any rescue for me or walking away/short sale is the only option??

    Thanks
    Ramy

    February 18, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  47. Amy

    No one wants to hear your sob stories about how you borrowed too much and never thought to accumulate savings, people! You're supposed to have 6 months' - or more– worth of money in savings (which you accumulate by not buying things you cannot afford) in case you lose your job, so responsible people can't really feel sorry for you that your situation was fine until you weren't working.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  48. Stan

    When will the madness stop. Why are we bailing out people who bought houses they couldn't afford or didn't manage their budgets properly.
    Where is the relief for those who are current on their mortgage? Pay thier bills. Do without new TVs, fancy cars, and other luxury items.
    What about the people who pay their bills but can't afford to send their kids to college?
    We keep bailing out the wrong people.
    787B +75B +350B+350B comes out to 1.562T divide by 350 million Americans and the total is roughly 44K and change.
    Couldn't they just send me and everyone else a check for that and let us bail ourselves out?

    February 18, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  49. Sue

    My husband and I had 20% down when we built our house and are working to get it paid off within 15 years. We did what what we were supposed to and it it is sickening that not only are we losing our retirement funds due to the poor decisions of others, but we are paying for these ridiculous bailouts for people who shouldn't have gotten mortgages in the first place. Where is the reward for living within your means and doing what is right?

    February 18, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  50. Kim

    I bought a home 4 years ago, put down 10%, struggle every month to make my payment now because I was laid off, but I accepted a job at a lower pay just so I would not use unemployment since more people need it than me. I Don't have credit card debt, my intrest rate is 6%, but my home value has dropped so much. I work very hard. and I think the intent of this is to help everyone not just people that made bad decisions. I made good decisions about my house and if it were not for my job loss I would not be in this situation. I could be still collecting unemployment!

    February 18, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
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