The Housing Chronicles Blog: Poll shows Americans almost evenly split on housing bailout

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Poll shows Americans almost evenly split on housing bailout

If you read the many housing blogs hosted by angry renters, you'd think that there was overwhelming resentment towards any bailout of people who bought more homes than they could reasonably afford. However, according to a recent poll conducted by CNN/Opinion Research, 49% of respondents actually support some type of special treatment for homeowners in danger of losing their homes vs. 48% against it. From a story:

Americans remain split on whether homeowners about to default on their mortgages should receive special treatment to help them keep their houses, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Poll.

The poll finds 49% of Americans believe such homeowners should receive special treatment, while 48% feel homeowners should not get assistance. Three percent of those polled had no opinion...

Congress also appears split on the issue. On Wednesday, the House began debating Democrat-sponsored legislation that would let the government back loans for homeowners facing foreclosure and would reduce the principal owed on those mortgages. Many Republicans oppose the bill, and President Bush has threatened to veto it.

The proposed legislation would allow the Federal Housing Administration to insure up to $300 billion in new loans over four years.

In order to qualify, lenders would have to cut the debt to no more than 85% of the homes' appraised value. If the FHA-refinanced loans defaulted, the FHA would pay the lender the outstanding principal.

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