Msnbc.com readers reacted vociferously to a Bush administration plan, announced Thursday, that would freeze interest rates for some mortgage borrowers in an effort to prevent a wave of foreclosures.
Even though few details have been disclosed, most readers said the plan was unfair and rewarded consumers who had made poor financial decisions.
Here are edited excerpts from some of the hundreds of comments submitted to our message board.
Why should the government jump in when someone makes a bad financial decision? What's next-don't make consumers pay interest on the credit cards they have used to overextend themselves? All Americans should be responsible for their financial mistakes. Stop blaming everyone else! Live within your means!!
—DC real estate
Gosh, we worked and saved for nearly 10 years to have enough money for a down payment on a house WE COULD AFFORD!!! Maybe we should have just spent the money on stuff we don't need and bought a house twice the size and three times the cost of the one we have. I guess we ARE better then the losers that are going to take another government handout.
Sure, lenders are a weaselly bunch, but the bottom line is nobody forced anybody to sign anything. I bought a house during the peak of the market when adjustable rates were being given out like candy. I knew darn well I couldn't afford a mortgage payment that might skyrocket, so I wisely took a fixed-rate plan. Just because a bunch of dullards took on more than they could ever afford doesn't mean the rest of us should bail them out
Since Mr.. Bush is proposing to give a break to the people who can't seem to control their greed, he should also propose giving a break to everyone else to keep it fair. Are you going to propose reducing the interest rate of my fixed rate mortgage to keep things fair, Mr.. Bush?
It doesn't matter who you blame, the lenders for pushing these type loans or the idiots that signed up for it, bailing them out will only encourage more of the same. This is definitely NOT something that will encourage fiscally responsible behavior.
As far as plans go, this may be one of (Bush's) better ones. In terms of minimizing damage to the economy, this is about as good as it can get. The lenders are going to get most of their money back (granted, at only a little more than the cost of capital) and the lenders get to keep their home. Predatory lenders are stuck with honoring the loan as long as the homeowner is paying their bills and those that signed the loans are held accountable for the money they borrowed. If you disagree, come up with a better plan (one that doesn't destroy the economy, ravage the real estate market, or fully reward the bad behavior of not paying back your loan obligations).
This is a great idea. The government should bail out everyone who has ever entered into a bad contract. Every loser should be made a winner at the tax payer's expense. How about reimbursing everyone for every losing stock they ever had, also? I'm holding a few losers now. I want the government to give back my money. Where does the line start for my government handout? Oh, I want the government to pay my credit cards off each month too.
—Richard, Fort Lauderdale
As a mortgage broker, I continue to see both sides of this issue. Ultimately, my feelings are that those who knowingly got in to an ARM should either refinance their home to a fixed rate or sell their home and buy one they can afford.
I wish people would not assume that all of us that are in this mess were just stupid. Some of us did purchase what we could afford but do any of you think about the what-ifs. I am in trouble due to a divorce, death and the loss of my job. There are some of us who could afford and did plan but things do not always happen the way you think. I cannot sell because of the mortgage mess because I would not get enough to pay off my home. It would most likely put me in debt even more. Everyone needs to look at all sides.
Bush is helping resolve a problem by leading as a president should. His program will actually save the taxpayer money. The Democrats want to have the government bail out the lenders and borrowers who made stupid decisions at the expense of responsible taxpayers who made or lost their money honestly. When are the Democrats going to stop turning the country into a cauldron of hate and start working to help the United States survive in an ever more competitive world?
I'm glad this help is in place for people that qualify. Our family experienced job loss and other (problems) that caused us to sell, tough part was the real estate market was already headed for trouble and we were lucky, soooo lucky to have sold and escape foreclosure. Had the job loss not happened, the rest wouldn't have happened.
A housing bubble ALWAYS spreads to the rest of the economy. The economic collapse is just getting warmed up. Fasten your seat belts. And it will pound the self-proclaimed responsible borrowers too!
This whole thing is a joke! Banks and Wall Street created this mess and now our government is going to use our tax dollars to bail idiots out! Even though this proposed "agreement" isn't using any federal funds, other back-door negotiations ARE in discussions to bail out the investors holding onto mortgage backed securities. There has to be a correction and ALL parties involved need to contribute. Home prices got out of hand (byproduct of this whole mess) and future generations deserve affordable housing, which if there isn't a serious correction will be difficult!
Why is MSNBC giving Bush the headline on this issue? It's not his idea. He's merely trying to position himself (rather belatedly) at the head of a parade that's already under way. Members of both houses of Congress, and at various levels of government, as well as key leaders throughout the banking industry, have been talking about this for some time. please, please: Give your viewers and readers the FULL story, not just the Bush "spin."
Not everyone overbought and overspent!! Thousands of Americans who once had great jobs are now working two or three part-time jobs to make ends meet. They have lived modestly but haven't always gotten the breaks. The unfortunate thing is they will not qualify for ANY relief or assistance and will still be foreclosure victims. Yes, there are bad lenders. Yes, there were bad programs. And YES, people got caught in them.
Don't think for a minute that this smoke and mirrors has anything to do with bailing out "unfortunate" homeowners. This is about saving the bonuses of the pig men on Wall Street.