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. Renting in CT

    What will this do for RENTERS? We make up 1/3 of the population. Many of us are renters because we had enough common sense to NOT get in over our heads.

    So, aside from the privilege of paying for the irresponsibility of my neighbors, and therefore having fewer discretionary dollars to save for a downpayment, WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME? As far as I can tell, only a kick in the backside.

    Here's an idea: let the irresponsible buyers and the speculators take their lumps, and let the housing market adjust itself. Then maybe I can actually afford to buy a home since it will no longer be over-inflated.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  2. Larry L.

    ----- Be informed for the next election in 2010---------

    Oh yes ,the last 8 years did happen, but: Note the date on the article.

    A New York Times article published September 11, 2003 described an emerging crisis with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and partisan resistance to proposed enhanced oversight of these two entities:
    "The Bush administration today recommended.......a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.......which together have issued more than $1.5 trillion in outstanding debt.......

    "These two entities - Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - are not facing any kind of financial crisis,' said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. 'The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing."

    So you "SEE",this really is the Democrats fault !!!Bush tried to stop the housing collapse,which would have saved the banks,which would have stopped wall street from crashing,which means your 401K would still be worth something,and you wouldn't be laid off,and we wouldn't need this spending bill,etc.You want to thank ,Barney Frank ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  3. ken

    4% to refinance
    4% for modifications
    4% for new home loans

    That would be fair, the banks still make their money, many people in trouble get out of trouble and others can get into a home they could not previously afford.

    The deal is this must be mandatory. Banks like GMAC, Chase and others need to be forced to solve the problem they created in the first place. The feds need to force the issue because they also failed to stop the problem in the first place.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  4. tim h

    All of you, so called Americans, this great nation is on the verge of a depression. I only wish we had more men and women alive today who lived through those times. They could enlighten us. They had to sacrifice and share with one another having LESS, not more. Be thankful and help, hope, and pray. United We Stand, Divided We Fall.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  5. Sandra

    How does this help the homeowner who is upside down 40% -50% in value, has been struggling to make the house payments, either lost their job or had hours cut back at their job? How fair is this to homeowners who have been late on the mortgage payments due to financial struggles, but still made the house payments anyway and they just cannot continue to throw away money at a losing proposition. What we truly need in this package is to stop the expense refinances, have the lender modify the loan on the homeowner’s property by lowering the principal balance and lowering the interest rate, this would keep the homeowner in the home, and it would be an immediate action and would truly help the homeowner. You can penalize a homeowner who has been late on their payments; the economy has made it hard to keep up.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  6. Beverly from NC

    Obviously, most of you complaining about how you are bailing out people who bought houses they knew they could not afford and on and on ...have NOT read or listened to this housing plan details.

    It DOES NOT offer help people who knowingly bought homes they knew they could not afford.

    It DOES NOT help speculators get loan deals to buy homes for investment purposes.

    It DOES NOT take over bad mortgages predatory banks intentionally lied to home buyers about. It corrects the interest rate to match what is the current rate and then makes up the difference between the payment the bank set and what the homeowner can pay until the rates are properly adjusted.

    If you are going to complain – educate yourself first on the facts and quit whining how everybody but you is get a handout. You are showing your ignorance in not knowing what is true versus what you are making up based on not knowing what the housing relief does and does NOT cover.

    Read and learn before you whine.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  7. Sandy

    What do you do when your lender won't do a loan modification because you live in Michigan and you have just been laid off.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  8. Lisa

    I'm with you, "Good Borrower & Tax Payer" and "bobh". I too am tired of paying for the mistakes of others. This bill doesn't affect me because I bought a house I could afford at a rate I could handle instead of buying too much house and hoping I could dump it for a huge profit or would be magically able to afford it when the payments went up. I think we should help people in crisis due to unexpected job loss, but that's it! This will award those of us who were responsible and honest with lower home values...what a way to teach people to be responsible and not overextend themselves.
    That's just awarding stupidity...

    February 18, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  9. Jebuz Krist

    And on the 7th day God created rental units.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  10. Edgar Taxpayer and current

    I am in favor of this because my wife and I have seen the value of our house fall to the point where we are not able to sell it and break even. Her parents are elderly and if we have to move 200 miles to take care of them, we will be soaked.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  11. KC

    Our country is turning ugly and mean. The respondents here are blaming anyone who is having finacial problems with being deadbeats. The people I know that are in finacial trouble have all lost there jobs. To blame them for that is just wrong. This is becoming a Christian country that no longer follows Christ. No one wants to help people in need, they just place blame. 8 years of Bush has left this county in one of the worst messes its ever been in and the only way out is to come together and help each other.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  12. Gail

    How many of you people complaining that this doesn't help you voted for Mr. Obama? This is pretty much his idea....as well as the beyond huge numbers of $$$$ going to worthless causes (ACORN) and beyond belief numbers going to bankrupt auto companies....

    February 18, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  13. Marc

    the reponses on this blog are awesome! the american way is a freakin' joke. I pray that americans will one day take responsibility for their actions.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  14. Lazy Citizen of Scamerica

    Can I haz government cheese wif dat too?

    February 18, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  15. Sarah

    Hey "fiscal conservatives" I had to pay for this unnecessary war and people lost their lives! You all are whining about the tax dollars for trying to get things done in our own country. Thousands of civilians aren't getting bombed and 4,000 Soldiers haven't died over this. Get over yourself.

    By the way, I bought a house well within my means and have made good choices too. Can you not see how this is going to help you too.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  16. One of 900 Millon Homeowners Who Gets Nothing

    Socialism at its best....punish the hardworkers and entitle the deadbeats. With a perfect payment record I have to jumpt through hoops to move from a 5/1 ARM into a 30-year fixed (a .25% drop in rate) because of "more restrictive guidelines." The lending community has no ability to discern the good borrowers from the bad.
    This program is pure garbage!

    February 18, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  17. Denise Fowler

    So, what about the poor people who have lost their jobs due to the downturn in the economy caused by the banking industries bad decision of loaning money initially to people who should not have been borrowing it? It appears that they will not be eligible to participate as they will not be able to afford to make their payment of 31% of their gross income. 31% of nothing is nothing!

    Or, what about the people who are losing their homes because the court system fails to enforce court ordered income within a normal time period?

    February 18, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  18. Kris A.

    This should apply to all mortgage lenders, not just Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  19. Jean

    CRISIS....what part of this word do you not understand.....it's not how we got here....we're here...and as Missy stated....at least the president is trying to find a way out...that's more than we could say about Bush...and to most of you that have written your comments....please read the O&A 's a lot of your questions are answered there or do a little research there are a lot of answers out there........it's seems like most of you just want to gripppppping........look at people in third world countries...most don't have a roof over their heads...learn to be happy with what you have...and stop grippppping and complainnnning...I wish the best anyone that has lost their home, is losing their home and bless the one's that are able to keep and stay in their homes....take a breath and give the President a chance....

    February 18, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  20. cygnus

    This officially ends the American Dream. No one can ever again say with a straight face "If you work hard, and are responsible, you will be rewarded" because this now certifiably not true in this country anymore. In fact, its now Government policy to only reward the reckless, careless and irresponsible.

    (And I'm sorry if you lost your job, but you STILL should have PLANNED for that risk, as I and many others have)...YOUR actions are now hurting innocent people (including your own kids and grandkids), and that's nothing but immoral and criminal.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  21. Betty

    Single parent helping three kids pay back college loans, a fixed mortgage and bills I pay on time (always have), pay full tuition/fees for re-training because my industry has been completely outsourced (3 layoffs in the past 5 years) , and now I have to pay for everyone else's greed! I am furious! Who's going to take the pressure off of me when the next layoff comes?

    February 18, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  22. M.J. Westerlund

    READ and LISTEN before you WHINE! All this whining and narrow mindedness from people who don't get that we are ALL impacted by this economic downturn – it's not about how "good" YOU think you are have been. My husband and I have also worked hard, lived within our means (including conservative home ownership and no big screen TV's or SUV's or fancy vacations), saved aggressively for an emergency fund and retirement (and lost significantly 401K values.) We were feeling pretty proud, not to mention smug about our situation. However, when the two bread winners in a family lose their jobs, one after the other, the emergency fund just last so long, no matter how much belt tightening one does. We've always paid our mortgage on time but are concerned how we will make it much longer. It seems this new plan just might help people like us. If you still have a job consider yourself lucky! If you think you are so righteous and good that you can't be caught in a similar situation you need to think again. All it takes is to lose your jobs and health insurance (and not be able to get another one) or have a devastating health crisis and you'll see how fragile the tower you live in really is. As for any partyline rhetoric, can it; it doesn't help your cause or the country. If it did, I'd be standing in front of W's house right now with a big sign about his lies and stupidity.

    Big D

    February 18, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  23. bobh

    This plan stinks, I work hard, take care of my family and pay my bills including my mortgage and I get nothing from this bailout except a lower home value for all my trouble.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  24. cm

    In reality this plan will not help homeowners is states like California, Nevada, Arizona, Florida, New York where either prices dropped more than 30%-50% just in the last year or so, or the jumbo market states.
    You know sometimes I wonder in what planet the people who wrote all this plans lives. What about the people who has not good credit and reduced income because lost of a job or any other reasons.
    They did not buy a house they could not afford just their conditions have change and they are not making enough money at this time.
    Where is the help for all this homeowners strugling to keep a roof for their families.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  25. kate

    Um, I'm confused. Does the bailed out homeowner who has their principal modified get to keep the profits when they sell the home or is that just a gift with purchase?

    I don't love this plan (I've been saving and pinching pennies for years to come up with a downpayment and each year home prices kept escalating negating my effforts–so I'm with those other first time buyers who were seeing light at the end of tunnel as prices went down finally) but now having been laid off if the plan somehow gets the economy rolling and I can find another job, I am prepared to suck it up and let it be.

    But, I do think its unfair for homeowner to keep the profits from the difference between their original loan and the newly modified one.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  26. Kathleen Dorsey

    Don't they know that most of these stated income and 3 year adjustable loans were NOT a fannie or freddie product? Most of these bad mortgages were done by sub-prime lenders- which are not included in this...

    February 18, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  27. J in WDC

    What's in it for the people who wants to buy now!!! NOTHING!!!!!!People who over extented themselves are getting all the benefits. SO SO GHETTO!!!!

    February 18, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  28. Pawel

    I didn’t buy a house I couldn’t afford. I planned for the future by not wasting money for big screen TV’s and SUVs. I have a savings account to cover my expenses in "any case". Where is my bailout Mr. B.H. Obama ? Why people like me have to work to cover stupidity of others?

    February 18, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  29. Sara

    "In addition to providing incentives to servicers and investors, the administration will also reduce borrowers' loan balances by up to $1,000 a year for five years if they keep up with payments."

    Is this for everyone or just the people who cannot pay their mortgages? As someone who pays my mortgage, and pays on time, I'd like to benefit from this principal reduction too!

    February 18, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  30. tanielu

    What about the people who worked honestly and hard to make smart choices with their money and not going over their heads with purchases of their home? Are they going to decrease our interest by 1 or 2 percent or do we have to foreclose on our home to be included in the stimulus package? I've worked years to save up and move my family of 6 into our house and with one income family we are on a tight budget every single day to maintain somewhat of a standard living. All I'm saying is their should be an incentive for those smart working Americans who lives within their means to stay afloat, we are probably the only family in my entire 5 miles radius neighborhood that doesn't have cable or internet because we use that money for food. I can only enjoy that luxury at work. Do I have to make a bad choice to be compensated?

    February 18, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  31. JJ Evans

    So this is what life in section 8 housing is like – so ghetto fabulous.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  32. Jack Janski

    The root cause of this debacle is the liberal Democrats in congress, i.e. Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, etc. Wake up people. Democrat policies will ruin this country.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  33. Tower Out

    No one here seems to understand that the bad choices of others are lowering everyone's house value. If we don't help out the folks who are about to foreclose or whose houses are worth less than they paid for them, they will walk away from their houses an then, those of us who can pay will be left with worthless houses, too.

    Doing nothing will mean that ALL houses lose value and many homes will become worthless.

    I was working in a bank in the 80's and I saw this happen. The bank owned many homes that could not be sold at any price. This crisis is much worse. So, if you don't want to bail out others, that's fine, but, at this point, you are bailing out yourself.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  34. Blaise

    I am MORE THAN ANGRY. Irresponsible ( and stupid) people bought homes that they couldn't afford and now WE have to pay for them. Why can't I buy a new Ferrari and when I can't afford the payments, ask the government to have taxpayers pay for it...? I have worked very hard, made responsible choices, lived in places that I didn't want in order to save money for a home I could afford – how do I get rewarded....? My socialistic government rewards me by giving losers my taxpaying money and then driving the prices of homes back up so I can't afford one again. I was hopeful for a new beginning with a president that would make us proud – I will not vote for this guy the second time around!!!!

    February 18, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  35. JLINK

    Well, as much as I hate paying for all of this, the silver lining is that it will hopefully work to stabilize housing values which will be a benefit to all.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  36. Tara a single lady who stayed on a budget

    Well gosh let's see....I didnt qualify for the first time homebuyers tax "loan" of 7500 dollars because I bought my house a month to early. THEN I dont quality for the 8,000 tax break because I already have a house.....gosh. Where is the break I get for being a single lady, stayed on a budget, bought a house I CAN afford and READ my papers before I signed them, didnt over spend. And now I have to pay for these people who over spend and get into a house they could not afford and didnt read their mortgage before they signed? BS!! I work hard, Have NEVER been late on my payments....where the hell is MY break? It is paying for others irresponsible decisions!!! I dont get help but others do who over extended themselves. The people like me who worked hard and payed on time need the biggest break. Not the people who didnt. Get an apt. and live with your mistakes.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  37. TOG

    Ken – quit blaming others. YOU are the only one at fault. YOU borrowed more than you could afford. YOU made a poor assumption about the future profitability of your business. We all make mistakes. This was a big one for you. Yes, there was a lack of oversight and regulation going all the way back to 94. However, YOU knew the terms and cost of your loan, and YOU signed it.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  38. Karen

    I'm really sad to see such "what about mine?" attitude on here while tearing down those who do qualify for help under this program. I've been one of the responsible homeowners, paying bills, not getting into debt, etc., but I certainly do not resent those who have fallen on hard times because their jobs have been outsourced or a medical emergency that has caused them to be unable to pay. If we would invest in this country, instead of rebuilding Iraq, people would be able to work enough to support themselves with good jobs. Instead, the CEOs and the Wall Streeters have raped the middle class, building their fortunes on our backs, with no regard to the good of the country, the strength of our people, and we're supposed to sit here and say, what, that the CEOs have earned their 300 times their workers salaries before they decide to send those workers' jobs overseas? Wake up, America!!! It's not socialism to rebuild this country; its been nothing for the little guy, everything for CORPORATE WELFARE since Reagan.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  39. Mark

    What if your mortgage is not serviced by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac – or your mortgage company did not receive federal funds – will you be left out?

    I'm thinking about Lehman Brothers (Aurora Loan Services).

    What about their mortgage customers?

    February 18, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  40. Mary Cincinnati

    So if you are very conservative with your money. Pay bills on time, don't buys things you don't need or can't afford, and save your money, YOU GET NOTHING BUT MORE TAXES TO PAY for the people who bought it ALL. So this is a reward system AGAIN for the stupid and careless. This is not America!

    February 18, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  41. Trunk Monkey in VA

    I hear ya...... I have 9 houses (1 personal 8 rentals) with a monthly mortgage of over $5800 dollars per month...... This is nuts..... I only recieve about $7600 per month on rent from my tenants... What can I get from the Obama/Pelosi team so I can make more money..... Oh by the way did I mention that I have over $450K in equity lines of credit on these properties...... , I need to get ahead I have kids that are going to College to learn a great trade......Over my head with $$$$$ Please let more short sales happen...... Those are the quickest to snap up..... at killer discounts...... Have $$$$ will travel...... Multiply streams of income is the path to follow..... Seize the DAY!! :>)

    February 18, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  42. realist1

    I have a question – What if I did the right things, invested my money, didn't overextend myself, didn't buy a nice car, didn't buy 3 flat screens, didn't buy an iphone.....what do I get for doing the right thing? That's what I would like to know.....why is my money being used for those that can't (in many cases) properly assess risk or could not manage their budgets....this country is going down fast....what is the incentive to do the right thing?....so let's give more free money to people that couldn't handle the money they already have....brilliant.....tired and angry.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  43. Sean O

    Well I bought responsibly but unfortunately I live in Phoenix, AZ and the developers over developed and now my property dropped 40% in value...I put 20% down...just like the olden days and yet I am upside down 20%. I have gotten a divorce and basically am stuck with the house.

    I think this plan will help some people who are long time owner's who did not buy a house they could not afford. If so then the 105% of value clause would not be in place. Due to recession and drop in property value I do not see anyone who bought in the past 5 years qualifying for this program. That being said, at least it is something and will help people like the woman above who lost her husband to cancer.

    And to all of you who are complaining about bailing other people out...I have been paying in the higher tax brackets for years...and do not qualify for this program and am STILL not complaining.

    Sigh, people are never happy.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  44. Ryan Thomas

    Congratulations people. This is what electing a socialist-minded President got you. But I'm sure you all did your homework before voting for "Change." One step closer to communism.

    For all of you who voted Democrat who are complaining about buying responsibly, making your payments on time and now not getting a fair shake, you have no room to open your mouths. This burden is what YOU placed on all of the responsible citizens of this country by casting your vote.

    It's an unfortunate mistake that will reverberate in this country for a long, long time. Might as well cut out the middle-man (Government) and start handing your money over to all the Octo-moms, dead-beat dads, drug addicts, criminals and lazy bums who can't hold a job. Tax the responsible to give to the irresponsible. Welcome to a Democrat-run government.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  45. steve d

    Ok, so I was responsible, boght a home within my means and support my family of 4 financially. WHere is MY bailout. Why are we helping these deadbeats that bought more house than they could afford? Its STUPID. Why not give everyone that is CURRENT on their payments a grant to stimulate the economy. It teaches a lesson in reward for being responsible. Instead we are helping the irresponsible jackasses that got into a mortgage they couldnt afford. I understand job-loss and situations differ...and for THOSE, I do not mean to offend...but 80% of this bailout is for people that were STUPID.....and Me, a responsible american trying to live the dream is paying for your mistakes. Where is MY reward?

    February 18, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  46. Jack Janski

    I agree with Post #7. What is in this bailout for those of us who are responsible and live within our means?? Barry wants my tax dollars to bail out those idiots who overextended themselves???? Give me a break!!!

    February 18, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  47. Gage

    I love this county. If something goes bad, everyone automaticly deserves something for free. Guess what? People have lost their jobs for eons. If you can no longer afford your home , you lose it. Pretty simple. For all of you that paid too much for a home and now are upside down , tough luck, you made a bad investment. Let me ask all of you freeloaders a question? If you bought stock in a company at 100.00 per share and that stocks drops to 50.00 a share do you start asking for your money back???? Same with a house. And by all means please keep blaming the banks for all of this , because the general publics greed and stupidity had nothing to do with this mess???? I want to live in your dream land. We need to let everything bottom out and let people rebuild. I can't wait until Obama devalues the dollar to the point that the Carter years will look good.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  48. sartin

    if you voted for obama dont coplain

    February 18, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  49. Gina

    Not everybody made "poor" or "bad" choices. My husband and I both lost our jobs and had to move to a different city to find work. Our house that we lived in previously has been on the market for over a year and hasn't sold. Now the neighborhood we lived in has had about 15 foreclosures or short sales, affecting values so drastically that we now owe WAY more on the mortgage than the home is worth. We are paying for a mortgage on a house we don't live in, as well as paying to live where we are now, and we will not be able to afford to do this much longer. We've tried renting but cannot charge enough to cover the cost and, in fact, had to evict one tenant for non-payment of rent. We keep depleting our savings to cover the cost to avoid foreclosure, but now my husband's company has filed Chapter 11 and he may not have a job much longer; the problems just keep growing.

    This type of program will hopefully help us and others and prevent more foreclosures which are hurting EVERYONE. Maybe this plan isn't perfect and won't help in all cases, but the alternative of doing nothing is unacceptable and will lead to more and more problems.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  50. Claudia

    My husband and I are unemployed and looking for work desperately but have had no luck. Even if we do find jobs, we know our salaries will be less than we used to make because no one is offering the salaries we had when we bought our home. We are current our mortgage and bills, but that won't last much longer. So when we have zero income, what will happen to us? Payments no more than 31% of our income would be zero, but it's doubtful that's going to happen! It's not our fault that we're in a depressed area and can not relocate because we have no money to do so! We're looking at filing bankruptcy if we don't secure jobs in the next 60 days. Not sure what will happen to us and our three sons and I'm tired of the advice "Hang in there, things will get better eventually." We just want jobs!

    February 18, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
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