Obama's housing policy has failed?
January 18th, 2012
08:09 AM ET

Obama's housing policy has failed?

CNNMoney asks that tough question in a new piece up now. As CNN's Tami Luhby notes:

Obama took office in 2009, promising swift action to address the mortgage crisis. He quickly unveiled his signature foreclosure prevention program, known as HAMP, and his refinance program, known as HARP.

But the HAMP program, which was designed to lower troubled borrowers' mortgage rates to no more than 31% of their monthly income, ran into problems almost immediately. Many lenders lost documents, and many borrowers didn't qualify. Three years later, it has helped a scant 910,000 homeowners - a far cry from the promised 4 million.

But are the problems entirely Obama's fault?

One of the main problems with Obama's foreclosure prevention program was that the housing crisis had already spiraled beyond unaffordable mortgage rates. Homeowners were defaulting because they didn't have jobs - and the administration's effort did little to help them.

Check out the full story HERE

Topics: President Obama • The News

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soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Yes I would say it failed albit in a round about way. With people out of work, because of Obama care scaring Business from hiring or laying off because of no one buying or able to make house payments it was doomed to fail. So Obama Care is a contributator to dissapearing wages and forclotures. No "Feel Good" Program will fix that.

    January 18, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • Lee

      Ray E., good try, but you failed to truly connect the dots as to why hasnt worked as well as it was designed to. The argument is better left at "cause and effect" as to why the engine to this program hasnt gotten started to its fullest potential; not your unsubstantiated statements you made. Viewrs are smarter than this

      January 18, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • jean2009

      I totally disagree with that assumption.

      To set the record straight, look at the majority of states which currently have the highest unemployment numbers; then compare that to states with school systems that spend the least amount per student on education, in too many cases they are the same states.

      Your reason just doesn't float in the world of common sense. Why would a small business which will receive tax rebate incentives to help their employees pool together and purchase affordable health insurance not hire?. The reason being there are far too many other factors in play, but The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act is not one of them.
      Try: Six Ways Health Reform Will Help Small Businesses

      If the health legislation passed in 2009, signed in 2010, and not fully effective until 2014 were the reason it would not explain why the banks tanked, the stock market crashed, and 2.6 million private jobs were lost in 2007 and 2008.

      Frankly, you are going to need to come up with a better reason to fit that historical time line; if you expect your inaccurate claims to be believed.

      It is:contributor to disappearing wages and foreclosures Also try "albeit".

      Maybe you should check into why nationally Georgia schools rank in the bottom 10 states as one of the prime reasons.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:18 am |
      • Ray E. (Georgia)

        Jean you are good at putting s*it in the game. In the 1800's it was Snake Oil Salesman. Much later it was P.T. Barnum's Must that there is a sucker born every minute. Of course you don't want to forget Aesop's Fable of the Goose that lsid the Golded Egg. Liberal's have forgotten and after 75 years of Big Social Programs all we have to show for it is a 16 Trillion dollar debt. So, the question is, why couldn't people pay the house payments? Why Jean? I suppose you will blame it on Wall Street, The Banks, the Brokers, everyone but where the blame lies. The people. Ya know Jean, we bought a new house in 2004. Nobody friom Wall Street, the Banks, the Brokers came to us and said you need to buy this house. No, Jean. WE decided to buy the house ! Better wise up Jean, better start booking your own life if you don't want to get left in the dust.

        January 18, 2012 at 11:41 am |
      • jean2009

        I would say the largest portion of that 16 trillion is due to bloated military spending and borrowing heavily for two unfunded wars.

        The 5 reasons people file for bankruptcy.
        #1 Medicare Expenses which according to a Harvard study accounts for nearly 62% of all bankruptcies, and 78% of those even had some form of insufficient health insurance.
        #2 Job Loss
        #3 Poor Excess use of Credit (probably from trying to keep the bills from the previous two reasons paid)
        #4 Divorce/Separation
        #5 Unexpected expenses due to the loss of property (flood, hurricane,tornado,earthquake)
        If you don't believe me try: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/pf_article_109143.html

        As for me me being good at putting sh__ in the game... you seem to do and excellent job of putting in such idiotic right-wing non-topics as: Aesop's fables, Snake oil salesmen, and a Goose that lays golden eggs.

        And you seem very uneducated and very young 2004 for a home purchase....our first was purchased in 1957.

        January 19, 2012 at 6:17 am |
    • flavoter

      In your world that may be true. But in the real world before Obama's health care program. There were 750,000 jobs a month being lost for many many months well before Obama. But of course their are those who don't deal with real facts. They just make up there own fake Fox facts. The greed of corporate America is and continues to be this countries downfall.

      Put Romney in office and watch how the rest of the middle class disappears.

      January 18, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
      • NOvember2012

        This job loss prior to obama was the normal fluctuating of the economy...we had a boom created by insane mortage lending (created by the left and right)...then a panic at the end of obamas three years of telling America how bad off we were. The economy today is obamas and his alone, there has been no unification of our political parties as obama promised...just division and shady anti-constitution dealings. The left will tell you (the honest ones) they believe the constitudtion is a living document (meaning they can change it as they wish)...so, to be a part of that croud you had better get that down very firmly in your conscience, heart, and soul.

        January 18, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
      • jean2009

        @NOvember My one word summation of your reasoning.... Baloney!

        January 19, 2012 at 6:20 am |
    • KatR

      A couple of l years back I watched a TV documentary relating the story of a couple who accurately filled out an application for a home loan. When they received word that their loan was approved they were astonished to see that the figures they reported on their application had been changed to a monthly income 3 times what they had reported on their application. They didn't take the loan. But I'm sure there were many others who didn't notice this fraud by the lender and wound up in trouble. The documentary went on to report that mortgage lenders had made such a mess of the mortgage industry that it will take decades to sort it all out. Obama had the "heart" to help but neither he nor the GOP can come up with a solution to fix it.
      Obamacare attempts to deal with health care costs by stopping practices within the insurance industry that resulted in more and more citizens being eligible to govt health care paid for by all of us taxpayers rather than the insurance company.
      The crisis in America's economic engine will NEVER be solved as long as the GOP and its supporters like yourself continue to blame our current President for everything under the sun. FACT: The GOP governing ideology has failed. Our economic problems began when a GOP majority Congress lowered tax revenues at a time when multiple wars were being waged. It was the first time in a century of the income tax that a Congress had been so irresponsible.

      I continue to believe that the GOP ideology of lower taxes translating to more tax revenue for the govt. How is heaven's name can such an ideology be economically logical?

      January 18, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
      • NOvember 2012

        The far left believe in govt solutions...the right in limited govt. My wife grew up behind the iron curtain under soviet rule...so, we know where centralized govt control of markets get you. When you finally chase capitalism away you will find there will no longer be any wealth to support the system. You may think socialistic countries do well...then go there and visit, talk to the people and see how they live and think...go to France where more tan 80% of the average citizens income goes to taxes...ask them about elderly care(the answers will make you sick). England's domination of left wing politicians has rendered her incapable of fighting a war on her own..not to mention they are near total bankruptcy.

        Obama was born and raised on radical left wing politics..it is who he is. He probably means well, but he simply does not have a real American brain and thus he will change America into something no person would want..

        We need healthcare reform...and the primary reason is the failure of our current govt system...it was never funded properly and for more than twenty years the code of medicare/medicaid have been shifted to the private insurance carriers and premium payers...this is a fact. No one on the left or right want you to know this...insurance works, without it we would not have commerce...itis actuarially managed i.e....the risk is determined and the premium is developed...costs a dollar plus administrative charges to manage the claims etc... if we had not used private insurance to get us this far we would not have the care in the US we have. And, don't even tell me our care is substandard...we have relatives all over europe and canada and know better.

        January 18, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
      • jean2009

        @Numbhead 12 To show you just how far in over your head and how lacking in true facts.

        As a senior, I am covered by Medicare. A premium is deducted from my monthly SS check for every thing except Part A. Part B premiums are withheld from my monthly benefit, Part D drug benefit premiums are withheld from my monthly benefit and paid to United Health Care (AARP) for my prescription medications, and my secondary health insurance premium is withheld from my company retirement benefit.

        All of these are processed by private companies including those generated by Medicare. When I need medical care, even the Medicare portions of the paperwork are processed by private insurance companies who sub-contract those government insurance jobs.

        Part A is covered by the government because they withheld FICA during the years I worked, to prepay my retirement insurance coverage.

        Are you under the idiotic illusion that my health coverage is free?

        Since you seem to need more education on the subject....you can check this link.


        January 19, 2012 at 7:09 am |
    • NOvember2012

      Seven jobs created by American business go over seas to the ONE that stays in America. Check out how many GM plants have been built in Mexico, China, and Europe in the past few years... Don't think for a moment obama is working for American jobs...in fact his last move was to let Mexican truckers into the country to compete with American trucking jobs(NAFTA) (purely anti-American labor). He thinks nothing of using EPA and the Justice dept (and other agencies) to advance his agenda..without regard to law and constitution. So, why would American business men bother themselves with investing in this country? obama is begging American business to repatriate trillions of dollars held in over seas banks(countries) and they politely grin at him...as though he was some illierate from southside chicago politics..ahummm

      January 18, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Jay

      Bank of America needs to be investigated fully. Currently they are sharing home owners mortgage a/c information with Dignifed Transition Soultions without home owners authorizations. Thereafter Dignifed Transition Solutions contact these homeowners stating that BOA gave them there a/c in order for Digniifed to ask or force these homeowners to shortsale. Additional all current executive leadership at Dignified Transition Solutions or former BOA and Countrywide Executives. These executive were responsible for modifications or MHA application and other mortgage responsiblities while working at BOA and Countrywide. They were the ones that did not approve MHA applications. For more information on Dignified Transition Soultions executive please see http://www.dignifiedtransitionsolutions.com/
      There is conflict of interest and privacy rights legal issues here. This needs to be investigated. The questions is should this be allowed?


      January 21, 2012 at 7:58 am |
      • SoCal

        There is no account info that is given or shared. The info given is name, address and possible phone number. When contact is made with the homeowner, the agent can not and does not explain the program. Our job is to put the homeowner in contact with the lender rep to explain what the program entails. The majority of the time these homeowners have already been denied a loan mod for whatever reason and the only other alternative is to either short sale or foreclosure. Given that the market is already satuarted with foreclosures, I think it is a wise move for these lenders to be proactive in getting short sales approved. Unfortunately many of these homeowners are still either in denial and/or want the rest of us taxpayers to continue to pay the costs of non-performing assets and/or default non-paying homeowners. I don't know about you but no one pays me to live free in my house.
        In my opinion the system is being played by both homeowners and agents/attorneys inudating the courts with paperwork when everyone knows that the majority can not afford the property to begin with now or in the past. This is not taking into acount the legit homeowners that suffered illness, death, divorce and/or job loss – which by all accounts seems to be the minority.
        I'm sorry but it's like when you buy a car – you miss payments, it goes to a collection agency and it's repossed – simple. A mortgage in covered by the property – you don't pay – it gets foreclosed but first it starts with the collection calls. That's what BofA, I think is trying to establish here. Communication between homeowner and lender to try and resolve a sitauation that by all accounts does not look like it will get better for the homeowner. Alot of times the homeowners stop communicating with the lender, they don't take the calls, they don't open the mail – thet jusy think that it will go away.

        It doesn't give anyone the right to live there paying nothing for 2-3 yrs making this downturn in the economy longer than it has to be.

        I applaud any lender that tries to mitigate their losses and at the same time make it easier for a homeowner to get out of the elephant of a debt on their back.

        Unfortunately many of these homeowners will go into foreclosure because (1) they're too much in denial and out of touch with their own reality, (2) they want a principal reduction to 40-50 cents on the dollar owed, (3) they're too damn stupid because they think that they'll outsmart the system and/or they're too stupid to realize that this is their way out.

        I understand that emotion plays a big part with these homeowners but I see it everyday. I work it everyday – the majority are out for themselves and the free ride they can get. Our society no longer has any shame in doing something that is blantantly a moral and ethical issue. I can't even imagine what the next generation will be like since the generation is so selfish.

        March 11, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  2. Dan

    It's interesting that the Media really does influence voters. Obama bailed out GM and now they have been named the largest Auto Manufacturer in the world topping even Toyota, but we are not hearing about that success? Does the media feed off and create doom and gloom so we all stay tuned in? SAD

    January 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • John

      BO bailed out the unions, not GM.
      Investors in GM lost their shirts. IYO, how much did GM get and how much was paid back? Once you get these #'s you will understand why the media isn't talking about this.
      If you think the media does not support BO you are not living in the real world.

      January 19, 2012 at 8:45 am |
      • jean2009

        @ John...this from a 2010 Bloomberg Business week report. FYI Not all the bailout money came from U.S. taxpayers, Canada also provided GM bailout cash. Evidently the Canadians also thought it wise to keep GM in business.


        January 19, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • jean2009

      @ John...Every stock tumbled between 2007 and 2008. You do remember GM declared bankruptcy before it was bailed out? GM stock hit a 50 year low on July 9, 2008. I'm sure bankruptcy is going to be a deal-breaker that plays havoc with the investors' money. The issue is not so much the bailout, but the bankruptcy that came before the bailout. Building back will take time and a good economy.

      January 19, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  3. Mike Yang

    stop building new house, the current houses' price will increase, but house builders will lose jobs

    January 18, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
  4. Dean

    One of the main reasons we're in this mess is that borrowers who didn't qualify were still given loans. Obama wanted to continue the practice in order to appease his constituency. Obama is the poster child for failure.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • jean2009

      @Dumbo For starters the problem started unfolding in 2003 and peaked in 2008. Calendar check Obama was not president in 2003 or 2008. Try another lie that one doesn't work.


      January 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  5. JOHN

    Not that it fail. its wasn't given a chance to work and there was also bad oversight by some states and banks

    January 18, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  6. NOvember2012

    Talked with a friend today who is thinking about refinancing a coupld of his rental homes. One is currently financed by gmac and the mortgage is held by fannie mae. gmac said they have a federal program he can take advantage of but, they will not lend him the relatively small amount he owes on the mortgage, it has to be twice as much at around 6% and the fees are $2,000. His credit union will take the deal at 50% less interest rate and no fees. This obama administration plan to help home owners (and apparently rental owners) is expensive and does it really help anyone except the banks.

    So, this is what happens when govt gets involved to fix the problem...and they created the mess to begin with! But what would you expect from a president who worked for and supported ACORN, and other affirmative action programs(mortgage lending) that hurt so many good hardworking Americans..and eventually Europeans?

    January 18, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • FlaVoter

      November2012 get off the moonshine. Even with some websites down today you can still find the facts if you have the ability to process them fairly. Housing collapse occurred and the country was in recession well before the current President but in your world the previous president never had a BAILOUT!! of the bank and wallstreet?? REALLY!!

      January 18, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
      • NOvember 2012

        obama's loan modification program...announced in one of his flowery speeches was a joke. bo said this program would help 7 million people keep their homes...maybe 10% of this figure got help, if you want to call it help. This is obama's business as usual...big hype and little or no results( a scam to make him look like the savor)...we need adult leadership!

        January 18, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • jean2009

      As a previous owner of rental properties, it has always been impossible to get the same mortgage loan deals for rental property, as what is available for the homeowner.

      We sold the last of our units in 2002. By that time the bulk of renters left in the rental market were not people I wanted as renters. The best renters are those who hope to someday own their own home.

      January 19, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  7. AMERICA 1st

    After nobama gets done corrupting the WHITE house, im wondering if its still going to continue to live in government housing? HUD?

    January 18, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
  8. pattha990

    Obama Care had an effect on the failure of HAMP and HARP to achieve their intended goals but it was not the overriding factor that caused them to fail. Both programs were approved prior to Obama Care. HAMP and HARP both failed to contain real incentives to the banks to take on the losses of lowering predatory interest rates, or the loss from lowering the amounts of principles. Many small businesses are still waiting to feel the effects of Obama Care, but they are able to forecast for them because the legislation is passed and the future costs are known to be coming – no uncertainty there. . Most large and small businesses sitting on record piles of cash repeatedly are quoted stating that uncertainty over the federal tax code is the number one factor holding them back on hiring. That is the issue that needs to be addressed to get employers hiring again a well as encouraging the scientific innovation that propelled American businesses in the past. The reason that Obama Care had such a negative effect on HAMP and HARP is that when the programs started and were not producing the intended results; the president and the congress were both so exclusively focused on health care reform that they were not doing their job of providing any let alone adequate oversight of the programs to ensure that they were working effectively. Maybe if they had been able to get a good health care reform package together without all the back door deals and in party fighting (they did have control of the House, Senate and White House at the time) then maybe they could have concluded the debate and passed something in time to notice the failures of HAMP and HARP and then modified them to reflect the changing reality that folks were no longer defaulting do to exorbitantly high interest rates, and instead were defaulting due to record job losses. But it really is silly to debate the thing too heavily now since nothing will get done about it in an election year.

    January 19, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
  9. chris

    I took advantage of this program worked well saved me money during the trial period. At the end i was swarmed by more paper work 4 days prior to trial period deadline. I had issues with some things that needed a notary. I got them signed and they had back a day late. Because of that i was kicked out of the program and i've been told by a few supervisors that there isnt anything they can do to overturn. My loan is now in default 4months which i have 35 days to pay 10g's. I am absolutely sick because of this. WOnder why millions of people are losing their homes the government doesnt care and they dont have any sympathy. Un*ucking real

    April 17, 2012 at 6:11 pm |