Bush Signs Massive Mortgage Relief Bill

President Bush signed a massive mortgage relief bill that will help hundreds of thousands of homeowners refinance their unaffordable mortgages into fixed rate government backed loans rather than lose their homes to foreclosure. The bill also put tighter reigns on Freddie and Fannie, says the Associated Press.

Bush had originally threatened to veto the bill over the inclusion of $3.9 billion in “neighborhood grants” which he claimed would benefit the lenders who caused the mortgage meltdown, but relented as the credit crisis deepened.

Bloomberg says that the big losers in the bill may be Freddie and Fannie shareholders, who could lose their equity if the US Treasury uses its new authority to take over the GSEs.

Bush signs housing bill to provide mortgage relief [AP]
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)


Edit Your Comment

  1. mariospants says:

    Seriously, at this rate, they’ll be bailing out the investors in the next dot com bubble…

  2. icust298 says:

    Does this whole government bailing out everything and everyone deal seem a little like someone paying their bills with a credit card to delay the inevitable? I mean eventually it has to catch up to us right?

  3. Puck says:

    Is it January yet?

  4. trogam says:

    @Puck: He was against it initially, but changed his mind after people got angry.

  5. dahlberg123 says:

    He just wants to do something “decent” to remembered for since the war was a failure, our economy in ruins and gas prices sky high.

  6. B1663R says:

    someone once said that you can push your veggies all around your plate all you like but, sooner or later you are going to have to eat them.

    i think this applies to this scenario

    Thanks to the someone who made that quote…

  7. EyeHeartPie says:

    @icust298: +1

    And who will end up with the bill?

  8. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    Maybe the industry should be allowed to self regulate and self insure to prevent this in the future… Oh, Sorry… that’s pretty much what caused this house of cards to fall… OK let’s write some new legislation… Oh, Sorry… We have some old legislation that covers this? From the Depression era!… Well lets dust off that old legislation, ensure it has modern teeth, ensure it holds Banks (and the other lending institutions) in general and Bank Officers specifically responsible for their actions, and re-enact it. While we are at it why not look to other industries that could be prone to this sort of abuses and put appropriate laws in place to protect all of us.

  9. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    @Puck: Both (the democrati) congress and the president get the blame for this one.

    This is complete bullshit, people who cant afford their mortgages need to move people who gave them the loans need to suffer the consequences.

    This bill is going to make it even harder for a first time buyer to get a house, they’re resolution: A $7,500 tax credit for first time buyers…oh, but it has to be paid back over 15 years. This whole bailing out people and companies is exactly what America should be doing, it’s not what we stand for.

    Most importantly, I’m paying the mortage of some dickwad who shouldnt have had a house to begin with, that burns me so much that I’m shaking.

    @dahlberg123: “Decent”? Decent would have been telling congress to go fuck themselves he’s not bailing out anyone.

  10. JustThatGuy3 says:

    It’s “reins,” not “reigns,” and anybody who believes that this restricts Fannie and Freddie in any significant way is kidding themselves. First step should have been for Fannie and Freddie to go through what Bear Stearns did – wipe out the shareholders and fire all senior management.

  11. trogam says:

    This also means that the people getting shafted the most are the ones who are actually financially responsible. So this means that housing prices are going to stay inflated when its time for my generation to start buying our own houses. I’m in my Junior year of college and this just makes me frustrated that people are being saved despite their stupidity! Common sense is a rare commodity these days.

  12. Puck says:


    Oh i’m aware that he was against it. It’s just time to get rid of this miserable failure and the rest of his ilk.

  13. Sugarless says:

    How about rather than being faced with bailing homeowners out after the fact, they do something before hand to prevent the degree of abuse that occurred?

  14. shadax says:

    Epic fail. This is the one he actually SHOULD have vetoed. Let the market sort itself out, don’t waste my tax dollars bailing out the greedy/stupid. I don’t think any company is too big to fail. If any ever were, they shouldn’t be allowed to be that big. Pure and simple.

  15. medalian1 says:

    This is going to bailout the banks and not the average homeowner.

  16. Will_ND says:

    Just the way to destroy capitalism. The sheeples and banks are learning that they can take big risks and potentially see big rewards without any risk because the politicians have created a safety net to catch anyone who loses.

    Sadly, the irresponsible lenders, borrowers and bailouters have artificially inflated home prices to such a level that the responsible people have to rent.

    Or should my wife and I just go out and buy something we know we can’t afford and wait for the next bailout?

  17. Asvetic says:

    Awesome, my tax dollars at work. Hey, Bush I’ve got some college loans I’d love paid off… any help there?!

  18. wilstanton says:

    For those who are clever enough to note that this just delays what will happen later, thank you. This helps nobody, but it screws those of us responsible. Thanks Congress, Thanks Bush, Thanks stupid, lazy, fraudster home buyers.

  19. dripdrop says:

    Doesn’t this bill include a provision about credit card companies having to report customer spending data to the IRS? How come nobody is talking about that?

  20. trogam says:

    @Puck: Ok. Just makign sure!

  21. Gann says:

    @Will_ND: “Or should my wife and I just go out and buy something we know we can’t afford and wait for the next bailout? “

    That’s the new American way, sadly.

  22. TecmoTech says:

    The stupid FAAAAARRR outnumber the smart in this world. Anything a smart person does is negated seventy-fold by idiots.

  23. zibby says:

    Ugh. Just prolongs the process…

  24. Angryrider says:

    Great… On one hand it is a relief bill. On the other, it’ll screw even more people of the chance of getting a home.
    Why couldn’t Bush procrastinate until January, so we can blame it on the next president?

  25. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    @dripdrop: Are you f*cking serious!?

    Please, for love of god, tell me your joking. That’s none of there damned buisness!

    You know shit is bad when republicans (ie me) start talking about moving to canada!

    @Puck: So you admit you’ve lost all objectivity?

  26. Quatre707 says:

    It’s a pity that the Americans who are benefiting from this mortgage relief bill are probably to busy trying to save the lives of their families, and protect their assets to be commenting on consumerist of defending this bill.

  27. @Wormfather is Wormfather: I couldn’t have said it any better myself.

    Congress needs to go fuck itself indeed, and all of these people who are supposedly looking out for us should actually start doing it rather than shilling for the banks and corporations who are bribing them.

    Seriously, anyone who didn’t have a house before 2000 is fucked unless prices come down another 25% or they have a family member willing to give them land. Even construction costs are WAY WAY WAY out of whack due to this crap.

    I have hated bush since before he was elected, but I’ll be the first to admit that this particular abortion isn’t his fault. It’s the fault of the hundreds of stupid fucks in congress who passed it.

    I’m trying to think back to the last time they did something good for ME, the normal middle class working American, and it’s been a pretty goddamn long time.

  28. What do the responsible folks who saved money for a downpayment and carefully considered the loans before they bought get?

    Oh yeah, nothin’. Their taxes get to help bail out the people who weren’t responsible. Thanks!

  29. Bladefist says:

    Bush had originally threatened to veto the bill over the inclusion of $3.9 billion in “neighborhood grants” which he claimed would benefit the lenders who caused the mortgage meltdown, but relented as the credit crisis deepened.

    There’s our 9% approval rating congress working hard! Lets delay helping people to sneak some pork into the bill. Laughable.

    Bush, you stuck to your guns for 7 years. Always doing what you thought was best, never giving in to the polls, congress, or the media. Why now? You were right. You shouldn’t have changed your mind.

    @Puck: You better stop wishing for January. You have two senators running for president. 1 has been a senator for 143 working days, 1 admits he doesn’t understand economics. Bush may have a problem saying the word ‘nuclear’, but he understand economics, and he was right on the war.

    I don’t care what side you are on, nothing positive is going to happen in January. The Bush policies you don’t like will be replaced with new, different, policies you wont like.

  30. wgrune says:

    @Wormfather is Wormfather:

    I completely agree. I don’t want to pay for some ass to keep his enormous house with a swimming pool while I consistantly make the payments on a house I can actually afford.

    Oh, and I also agree that things are really getting bad because my right-of-center ass has contemplated Canada as well.

  31. TecmoTech says:

    Where can I find more details on this bill as well as the voting record? I would like to see who opposed this bill.

  32. crabbyman6 says:

    This is ridiculous, these people get a 10% discount on their homes AND saved from foreclosure for something that was their own fault.

    CNN’s article mentioned other things that were included in the bill.[money.cnn.com]

    Why in the world was this stuff included?

    A new home-buyer credit. The new law includes a tax refund for first-time home buyers worth up to 10% of a home’s purchase price but no more than $7,500.
    The refund, however, serves more as an interest-free loan, since it would have to be paid back over 15 years in equal installments.

    A ban on down-payment assistance from sellers. The new law eliminates a program that has allowed sellers to provide down payment assistance for FHA loans.
    The law would also increase to 3.5% from 3% the down payment requirement for borrowers getting FHA loans.

    I don’t see how a tax credit really helps first time homebuyers, ESPECIALLY since you now have to have more down payment and can’t get sellers assistance. Was there an abnormally high number of people defaulting that were first time home buyers? Somehow I doubt it, maybe someone can come up with some kind of reasoning for those.

  33. anker says:

    Well I guess that I had better thank each and every one of you for personally bailing my piece of garbage family out of the mess we have created in life!

    This bill gives us old folks some help and hope.

    Get back to me in twenty years after life has taken a stab or three at you. Show me then that you have made all of the right decisions and taken all the precautions you should have so that your future family never ends up in need of anything from anybody.

    Life happens. Apparently in this case it has happened to quite a few families.

    The comments on here are arrogant and rude.

  34. vladthepaler says:

    So, I made it a point to buy a property I could actually afford, I got a fixed-rate mortgage that I could make the monthly payments on… and now I have to subsidize (through taxation) all the irresponsible idiots who didn’t do those things? How is this fair? I should have gotten myself a mansion with a low introductory interest rate & let taxpayers buy my house for me. Oh well, next time I’ll know.

  35. SkokieGuy says:

    Who has read the rules of a homeowner getting a bailout?

    90% of the appreciation when the home is sold is paid to the government if the home is sold in the first year (to avoid flippers). The amount goes down, but after 5 years it is fixed at 50% of the appreciation.

    The homeowners also must pay insurance, the homeowners cannot take out a home equity loan for 5 years, unless required to maintain the property.

    The lender must give a fixed rate loan.

    The government is preventing people from losing homes, but is getting a huge fat IOU that could easily equal the cost of the bailout.

    I despise our current administration with a seething passion, but considering the mess we’re in, this is NOT a terrible bill.

    Yes, I’m a responsible homeowner, and it pisses me off to see irresponsible people get bailed out, but with these strings attached, its not a bad compromise.

    I would rather not have MY home continue to decline in value because of a huge number of vacant and foreclosed homes nearby, so yes, the bailout helps me by potentially slowing the decline in home values.

    Critics – what is a better proposal?

  36. Bladefist says:

    @Wormfather is Wormfather: Relax. This is going to be 90 people attacking Bush vs me and you. Puck is an extremist.

    Bush did what the liberals want. Republicans/Conservatives didn’t want the bailout. So they got what they want. How do they respond? Ignore it. It’s not big in the media, its barely talked about, and everyone is going to attack him on other issues. They can’t be happy. They don’t want to be happy. Happy is boring.

  37. Bladefist says:

    @SkokieGuy: I am a responsible home owner as well. But the market will make your home worth more then the government. This bail out is a message to the market. There is no risk. Be ready to see a very volatile housing market in the future.

  38. trogam says:

    @SkokieGuy: I think the taxes that will go towards bailing people out would end up costing more in the long run than house deprecation. (Is that the right word?)

  39. TecmoTech says:

    @SkokieGuy: Maybe your home value isn’t supposed to be as high as you feel it is. Sorry, but those inflated prices pushed your house value up. Now you want those same artificial prices to keep your home value high? Can’t have it both ways buddy.

    I scratch my head when I see the average income in a city vs the average home price. Housing prices have to come WAAAY down or salaries have to go WAAAAY up. Which is more likely?

  40. crabbyman6 says:

    @Wormfather is Wormfather: He is serious, there was a bunch of talk about this a week or so ago. [www.freedomworks.org] Not just credit cards, but PayPal et al also. Me thinks the IRS is setting up a tax structure for internet transactions.

  41. cortana says:


    Actually,they do get something. By propping up the market, these people’s home values won’t decline as much as they would have, and they won’t lose as much money in the long run.

  42. Bladefist says:

    @trogam: Right word. But taxes wont go up (under this administration). It’ll be borrowed money that will have to be payed back in the future.

  43. mariospants says:

    If you’re contemplating coming to Canada, make sure you visit in the dead of winter, first. Just to be sure you understand exactly what “martian-like daytime highs” really feels like.

    I can’t compain, though. My mortgage interest rate is nice and low and I just sold my house (in Canada) for full asking within a week. No APRs here, thankfully.

    Bailing these people out is a heinous missuse of public funds. You have to face reality, folks.

  44. NYGal81 says:

    This shit pisses me off. As a new homeowner, my husband and I made sure that we were purchasing a home we could afford, did our homework about mortgages to avoid getting sucked into something “too good to be true,” and saved some money for a down payment. Where’s my reward for being responsible? Oh wait…that’s never coming, is it? Sigh… Some days I wish I could just float through the world without thinking about my actions or their consequences.

    I am sure that there are some people out there (albeit very very few) who are in trouble with their mortgages for very legitimate reasons (i.e. serious illness, loss of job/wages, disability, etc.), and who will benefit from this most recent bailout. Largely, though, it’s stupidity and greed that are being rewarded here, and this will only increase the chance that this same problem repeats itself in the future. The people being bailed out, for the most part, will never learn from their mistakes, because they will not have had to address any consequences or repercussions.

    This is the large-scale, financially/economically irresponsible equivalent of watching that parent in the grocery store check out line give into their screaming 5 year old because the kid wants candy. Give that kid the candy to shut them up, and they’ll learn fast enough that the way to get the candy next time is to throw a fit again. Even though the problem went away for the moment, all you’ve done is ensure, slam-dunk, that it will occur again. Way to go…

  45. trogam says:

    @Bladefist: An even more volatile housing market? Please don’t say that…I want to be able to buy a house that isn’t outrageously priced…I can already (Sort of) come to terms with paying taxes on certain things, but to then pay taxes in order to keep people in houses they can’t afford when I would be able to afford if it was more realistically priced?

  46. SkokieGuy says:

    Everyone’s home has declined in value over the past few years, and even with this bill, it will continue to decline (hopefully the decline will slow). Yes, it could be called a ‘correction’ to inflated prices.

    Without a bailout, we will have hundreds of thousands of additional homes on the market which will increase the rate of housing value decline.

    So who has a realistic alternative?

  47. crabbyman6 says:

    @TecmoTech: Voting record can be found here. [www.iht.com]

  48. randombob says:

    Oh cool!

    Now with the help of this bill, housing costs will essentially be propped up at their artificially-high prices that no one can afford that’s partly the problem with the whole mess in the first pla….

    oh wait! THIS ROYALLY SUCKS!

    Good job politicians. Way to “look” like you’re for the people. “We’re SAVING FAMILIES!” Yeah, sure you are… Let’s now continue to look passed the rest of America THAT CAN’T AFFORD A ROOF OVER THEIR HEADS! Yay America!

  49. dripdrop says:


    I am a girl, but thanks :) I was having trouble finding an article that talked about it.

  50. Ninjanice says:

    This pisses me off to no end. Americans have so much debt and all the goverment wants to do is smooth everything over so these idiots can bury themselves in a new hole. Idiots that live beyond there means are not going to learn a lesson if we bail them out every time. What also amazes me is that these are probably the same people that can do 25 hours of research to make sure they buy the right 52″ plasma screen TV (paid for on their CC of course). However, when it came to buying their home, they couldn’t even do 10 minutes of research to see what they could actually afford.

  51. randombob says:

    @SkokieGuy: HERE’S a realistic alternative:

    Do nothing. That’s right, let it fall. l let that glut of homes hit the market.

    Because, uh, that WILL bring property prices down to more reasonable levels. you know, levels that people can afford. How the hell is the bailout – which will keep propped up those artificially-high prices – going to help solve the problem? It’s saving 1% of the population (that shouldn’t have done what they did), at the expense of EVERYONE ELSE.

    This is dumb.

  52. TecmoTech says:


    This Enzi guy from Wyoming has been on the money recently. He is now cool to me.

    Where can I find details on what was in this bill? Maybe we are all overreacting. The label looks bad, but the contents may be a bunch of fluff.

  53. Bladefist says:

    @NYGal81: I love you. Haha. I bought a house in Feb 08, and It pisses me off too. That some people not only get to float through life, but get to float through life in a better house then me. Welcome to America, entitlement is all around you.

    @trogam: I see it becoming as volatile as the stock market.

    @SkokieGuy: The people who are in houses they cant afford will walk away from the house. The banks that let them get those houses will crumble. Leaving the honest banks. The people will go buy a home that is in their range. You’re right, the market looks bleek for a while. But my volatility argument has a great point. With a bailout, you are telling the market to take whatever risk you want, the government will save you. So, this could be the never ending story.

  54. cmdrsass says:

    The ants get the shaft while the grasshopper parties.

  55. xphilter says:

    This seems like a waste of paper. It doesn’t sound very useful to anyone. I just wish countrywide and other big lenders would help themselves by working with homeowners, in any situation, to get better quality mortgages. I have a 5 year ARM (3 1/2 years left) on a duplex I bought (I’m in no danger of defaulting), I called countrywide to see if they had any programs for people in ARM’s to convert to regular…no dice. That would be my first step if I were CEO, convert potentially risky mortgages into more reliable ones.

  56. mac-phisto says:


    I don’t think any company is too big to fail. If any ever were, they shouldn’t be allowed to be that big. Pure and simple.

    that’s an excellent point. unfortunately, the repeal of glass-steagall assured that companies (specifically financial institutions) would, in fact, become too big to fail. & with every merger, it gets worse. when you consider that 35% of all money on deposit in u.s. banks sits at one of the top 10 banks in the country (& almost half of that is at #1 & #2 – BAC & JPM), you can begin to understand why the government simply can’t afford a meltdown.

    & whereas the isolation of different types of banking that existed before gramm-leach-bliley may have insulated different sectors of banking from failing before, now the very foundation of our commerce is at risk b/c BHCs have their hands in everything.

    so, “pure & simple” isn’t so easy anymore. today, if the big guys fail, we all fail. your savings? gone. your retirement? gone. your pension? gone. your company? gone. & on & on & on…

  57. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    On to more important things, I feel victimized by this, so in true forum fasion, I’m going to blame myself.

    This is all my fault.

    There, I feel better.

  58. Jaysyn was banned for: https://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    @Bladefist: “Bush may have a problem saying the word ‘nuclear’, but he understand(s) economics, and he was right on the war.”

    I guess if I ran 2 oil companies into the ground I’d have a pretty good understanding at how at least part of the economic system works.

    “By right on the War” I’m assuming you meant Afghanistan & not Iraq where we absolutely have no good reason being there at all. The grounds for the 2nd Iraq war are totally indefensible although I’m going to laugh my ass off whilst you try. Don’t even bother with the lame “UN Resolution” angle. We only listen to the UN when it serves our goals.

  59. Geekybiker says:

    Privatize the gains, socialize the risk. God I hate the government and their bailout after bailout.

  60. sspeedracer says:

    Bull f’n shit! This is called LEMON SOCIALISM. Hard working, fiscally responsible Americans, such as myself, are going to bail out all the stupid A-holes that cashed -out refinanced for 60K SUV’s rollin’ on 22’s.

    Its called taxation and its called inflation. We already are seeing it and the worst is yet to come.

    It takes two to make a bad loan. The idiot home-owner and the selfish bank. F’em both and let them rot! Home-owner out on the street is a good lesson. Banker/lending agency behind bars is a good lesson. Until them its status quo and 80% of us responsible americans are F’d. This BS cuts through both political parties. Congress and Executive branch don’t give a crap about US. Vote them all out!

  61. SkokieGuy says:

    Only in a few hot areas (Las Vegas, parts of FL & CA and some others) have there been stratospheric rises. In most areas prices outpaced historic averages, but not by huge amounts. With the decline in prices, frankly, in my area (Chicago metro) prices are right in line with historic average. There is no longer any artifical high price.

    If the country does nothing, then banks will have staggering inventory of unsold homes and more banks will fail, which because of FDIC insurance, will be bailed out with our taxpayer dollars. And this bailout costs with no return on investment. The home bailout at least gives the government back a significant portion of profits from future home sales.

    Significant unsold homes reduce the values of all homes, so that makes us responsible folks suffer even more.

    Significant unsold homes are being used by squatters, and being vandalized for scrap metal and such. This increase in crime costs taxpayer dollars to fight.

    What I am hearing is frankly a lot of misplaced anger. Dammit, THOSE people are getting something I’m not. Why shouldn’t I get free handouts. Why am I being punished for being responsible?

    Well I’m angry too, fricking furious! Let’s be angry at the people who promoted the deregulation that allowed this to happen. Bailing out homeowners doesn’t mean that predatory lenders, appraisal fraud and the other criminal activities, corporations and people that contributed should be prosecuted, of course they should.

    Don’t let anger at the situation interfere with finding a realistic solution.

  62. Pinget says:

    Tighter “reigns” ? That’s what a king does, reign. Reins go on a horse and control it.

  63. jackal676 says:

    @Bladefist: “I don’t care what side you are on, nothing positive is going to happen in January.”

    Yeah, you’re totally right. It’s not like having a black president is going to advance the status and civil liberties of a certain segment of our population or anything. Who in their right mind would think of that as positive?

    Oh but wait, then you’ll say something like “Yeah, see how positive it is when he runs the country into the ground.” Oh, boo hoo, I can’t possibly imagine this country any better than what it has been under my favorite cowboy’s reign. The sky is falling!

  64. Bladefist says:

    @SkokieGuy: Deregulation didn’t cause this. We were deregulated for a long time w/o these problems. Also, I don’t want the government making a profit. Which is surely the only reason they are doing this. Don’t assume that profit will be applied to our deficit. It’ll go to more pork.

    @Jaysyn: See your comment. It’s one driven by emotion, not thought. Even Obama/media have come around, you should too

  65. sspeedracer says:

    @SkokieGuy: Alternative: Let the market self correct- Yes it will be very painful, but its inevitable. We are a credit economy and that will never last, its just a matter of how hard and fast it crashes.

    We are already feeling the consequences. Dollar devaluation 25% and increased tax on the horizon. The petrol economy is shifting to Euro’s. The longer the Fed props up this false economy the harder it will crash.

    Homeowner eviction is a valuable lesson. Don’t sign a contract over-extending yourself 8X your annual net income!

    Lender Corporate Insolvency is another valuable lesson. Don’t sign a contract with a home-buyer that can’t afford the house. Don’t refi-cash out for anything other than “home-improvements.” ie no “Toys” Vacations SUV’s Credit card consolidation.

    Economic Ripple Affect- Don’t purchase bundled mortgages. Return government oversight on FICA insured loans. There needs to be a return to government oversight on loans the government will insure. Otherwise all bets are off and lender/buyer beware.

    The ONLY reason Congress and President are propping this BS up is to make it though November elections. Its short term thinking and it will destroy this once great nation.

  66. TecmoTech says:


    You can easily solve an “unsold” homes problem: REDUCE THE FREAKIN’ PRICE!!!

    I don’t know how many times I went to a bank-owned property and the bank stood firm on their ridiculous demands. Banks are still trying to pass the buck on their dumb decisions.

  67. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    @jackal676: There are some black people in my office who think that Obama is going to wave some magic wand and everyone is going to be driving a Benz sitting on 22s and that they’re baby daddies are going to be released from jail on that “bs drug charge”

    Personally, I cant wait to see what happens when it doesnt happen.

  68. sspeedracer says:

    @SkokieGuy: Agree: “Let’s be angry at the people who promoted the deregulation that allowed this to happen.”

    Sure lets get angry at the lending institutions that lobbied Congress to deregulate during the Bush years. Sure lets get angry at the Congressmen that sold out. But in the end, lets get angry at the stupid Americans that continue to vote For these same elected officials that have royally f’d up our economy and continue to do so.

    The dollar is only as strong as we believe it is.

    Disagree: “Significant unsold homes reduce the values of all homes, so that makes us responsible folks suffer even more.”
    The only way this makes responsible folks suffer is if they are switching from ownership to rental. Or, they owned 2nds and 3rds for investment.

    In fact, “responsible folks” might have enough cash tucked away that they can now purchase real estate for investment. This is generating some of the increase on sales last two months.

  69. MPHinPgh says:

    @B1663R: I can think of no better way to sum this up. Brilliant!

  70. wgrune says:

    @Wormfather is Wormfather:

    The scary part is that a LOT of people from all walks of life seem to think that Obama is going to fix everything and this country will do an about face by this time next year. Boy are they in for a surprise…

  71. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    @sspeedracer: I have no problem with deregulation, I have a problem with politians who dont have the nuts to keep it’s hands off after it does so.

  72. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    @wgrune: It’s because he shits ice cream and spits sprinkles. That typically is a crowd pleaser.

  73. enine says:

    So because I signed up with a fixed loan on a smaller house that I could afford I don’t get a nice interest rate reduction like they do? Where is my releif?

  74. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    Canada = social support for the people
    USA = social support for the Banks…

    I prefer Canada’s model.

  75. mac-phisto says:

    @enine: technically, you’ve already seen relief with the interest rate reduction. if everything was hunky dorey, “responsible” borrowers would never have seen rates in the 4-5% on a fixed 30 – instead they’d be closer to the 6.5-7.5% range (historically).

    if you think about it that way, all the irresponsible folks have managed to save you ~$40,000 in interest (assuming $150,000 @ 5% vs. 7% over 30 yrs) & managed to let you keep an extra $175/mo. of your money.

    that was awfully nice of them, don’t you think?

  76. Toof_75_75 says:

    Oh good, the government has come to the rescue of people who stupid decisions…I think tomorrow I’ll go spend hundreds of thousands of dollars more than I can afford, put it on credit cards, then ask the government to bail me out, too.

    A better option in this case is to let these people learn a lesson and let the market correct itself.

  77. KeilwerthLA says:

    Why do I have to pay for morons who couldn’t do the math? I would love to be a homeowner and be paying towards equity every month, but right now it’s not in the cards. So I’ll continue to save until such time as it becomes a viable option. Not rocket science.

    I am tired of working for lazy, selfish and idiotic Americans who, unfortunately, now believe that the government will be there to hold their hands when they get into trouble again. So nothing will change.

    Dumb people suck.

  78. JohnMc says:

    The folks that really need the relief are the taxpayers and FM/FM shareholders. Those are the true victims here.

  79. Toof_75_75 says:

    There will always be people who make bad decisions…even when good things are done for them, they will continue to make bad decisions.


    Even if the government bails out the people with ill-fated mortgages, the people who took them out originally are just going to keep doing it.

  80. JeffM says:

    The passing of this bill basically seals Barack’s vote in November for me- how can I even consider voting Republican when the only thing I find attractive are some of their (so-called) free-market philosophies.

    I’d rather get taxed up the ass to pay for social programs I am not empathetic towards than paying for some guys 4.25% 5/1 ARM he bought in 2003 to be fixed at an artificially low rate. Of course ensuring that regardless how much money I make I still will not buy a house because of absurd price/rent ratios.

  81. JeffM says:

    @JohnMc: If someone was holding Fannie or Freddie over the last 3 years they deserve what is coming their way- seriously- what was your surprise factor when you found out they were both failing?

    I lost a damn bet with my friends- I said 2010 Fannie and Freddie would fail- I wasn’t even close!

  82. Free as in Rick says:

    it’s clear that most readers of this blog are against this action. and
    it’s clear that both Obama and McCain are completely for it. what’s
    the resolution then? why am i the first commenter to mention the
    presidential candidacy of Bob Barr ( http://www.bobbarr2008.com )? less than
    a month ago it was FISA, now it’s this. it’s time for a resolution,

  83. Bladefist says:

    @AnnataArlan: Because you live in a 2 party country where the sheeple have beaten down any chance for a 3rd party.

  84. Darren W. says:

    Would this be a good time to suggest voting third party, so we can stop perpetuating this kind of asinine crap? http://www.lp.org

  85. dako81 says:

    @RamV10: Yes, yes and yes. But you have to see that “them doing something good for you”, or really anybody for that matter, is just a side effect of whatever they just did good for THEMSELVES. And they don’t really care about the side effects unless it disputes their ligitimacy.

  86. Puck says:


    You’re a walking, talking mouthpiece for the godawful Republicans and have their logo as your avatar. Using your own logic, it’s safe to assume then that it’s perfectly fine to count you in with the “sheeple”.

    (and before you try to label me as some extremist Democrat or bring some other nonsense, I am and always have been a registered Independent with no loyalty to either of these parties)

  87. dako81 says:

    @Darren W.: No, since the libertarian party has been infiltrated by used to be republicans. I guess it would be a step in the right direction, but it would only really put in place an early 2000’s republican party.

    If you want to see it as on a political spectrum scale or whatever they like to visualize it as, if you check out what the parties stood for and believed in over the past 30-40 years or so and locked that in on the scale and then placed the values they have today, you’ll see that the democrats have gone further left on the scale and the republicans have also gone further left on this scale, and now there’s enough room to the right of them for another party to come in. That’d be the so called libertarians of today. Well the past couple of years. I’d find it hard for myself to label Bob Barr as a libertarian, just check out some of his principles and compare them with classical libertarian values, not this new radical libertarianism.

  88. Bladefist says:

    @Puck: I’m a conservative. The republican icon is just to piss you off. I’d vote for Bob Barr if he had a chance. It’s not worth the gas money to go vote for him. Now, if he was allowed in the general election debates, then I would. He doesn’t even get to debate. The media wont let him.

    I didn’t say you were an extremist democrat. I said you were an extremist. You are very angry, very emotional, and very extreme in all your views.

    Btw – Calling republicans godawful pretty much says your loyalty. Mr Independent.

    @Darren W.: I would love a 3rd party. But that won’t happen. One thing Korea does, that I really like is, they have multiple people running from each party. So their election is like our primary. That would be fantastic. More options for us means they are on better behavior

  89. dako81 says:

    [QUOTE]The longer the Fed props up this false economy the harder it will crash.[/QUOTE]

    Yep. Agreed. That’s what scary about it.

  90. battra92 says:

    @Bladefist: Dude, what about me?

  91. Puck says:


    It doesn’t piss me off, I actually am glad it’s there. It allows people to more conveniently ignore or take seriously anything that you say. Labeling me as “angry” just goes to show how little you know about me, but keep trying to stand your straw man up. I’m sure you might get a few people to believe your nonsense.

    It’s also nice to see that you have someone that you’d like to vote (Barr) for but won’t vote that person because you don’t think that they’d win, yet out of the other side of your mouth you crow for third parties. Try critical thinking, it’d serve you well.

  92. dako81 says:

    @Bladefist: If you were going to vote for a true libertarian candidate, you’d be better off voting for Ron Paul than Bob Barr. Remember Ron Paul ran as a libertarian in 1988. People can say what they want about him since the media and the republican party has tried to make him look like a fool, and it has worked on most of the sheeple, but if you look at just the hard facts of voting records, he’s in my opinion the best candidate to vote for, since he is actually principled and has stuck to his principles. People just need to do their own research instead of listening to Fox news or CNN.

  93. dako81 says:


    Guys, it’s ok to disagree, lets just discuss it. I got banned from posting for a couple of days and it was NO FUN! I felt lost…HA!

  94. Bladefist says:

    @battra92: well speak up!

    @Puck: Critical thinking tells me throwing a vote in the trash for Barr, when I could give it to McCain, to keep Obama out of the white house. Which is my plan. Although both of them would have bailed out these companies, and Barr probably wouldn’t have :)

  95. SinisterMatt says:


    I think you mean revolution. I’ll agree with Bladefist, though. The two party system is so entrenched in this country that a third party has virtually no chance of gaining any significant gains over the long term. There are even laws in most states that disadvantage third parties to some degree or another. It’s an established phenomenon that when a third party comes up with a plan that particularly resonates with the people, one or both of the two major parties will adopt the idea and the third party withers away. It’s happened on numerous occasions. For that reason, Bob Barr isn’t worth it.

    Back to the topic on hand, this smacks of Bush trying to protect his legacy at least slightly. This “flip flopping” (if you will) is from a president that is known for being stubborn and sticking to his ways on anything he thinks is right. What else could this be besides trying to say that he did something positive for the country when most of the other prominent things he has tried has ended in failure and popular disapproval?

    The best solution to this housing mess, I think, is to, like others have said, let the market sort it out. Yeah, some will lose their homes. Some banks will go out of business, but in the end it will all work out. It’ll be painful, but hopefully we learn from the mistakes of the past (though experience shows that no one ever learns anything from history).


  96. stinerman says:

    That depends on your definition of the words “left” and “right” politically.

    The Democratic Party of the Vietnam Era was generally quasi-socialist. Economically speaking, they held a ground at or near the Green Party of today.

    The Republican party of the same era was generally economically moderate-to-liberal. Nixon signed and enforced a bill that provided for rationing of gasoline during the early 70s oil crisis. As far as I know, no member of Congress has even floated the idea of a rationing system to bring prices down, much less seriously considered introducing and passing a bill to that effect.

    Objectively, Nixon was to the left of Obama on economic policy. It always makes me laugh to see people calling people Dennis Kucinich and Barbara Lee “far left”. Really they’d be mainstream 1970s Democrats. Far left is the Peace and Freedom Party, the Socialist Party, and others. In fact, a plank for the current Socialist candidate for president is a guaranteed minimum income of $40,000/yr. Now that’s “far left”.

    Both parties are for a form of socialism, though. Technically you can make the case that bailing out failing enterprise is socialism. I’d prefer to call it fascism, although that term is loaded. You can have government propping up the poor and government propping up the rich. The Democrats and Republicans occupy those positions, respectively, although I’d say the Democrats are more about propping up the middle class since they’ve not cared about the poor in over 16 years.

  97. FLConsumer says:

    How about a bone for the people who were financially responsible? After all, it’s those with money who will be underwriting the bailout.

    /Glad we’ve been paying so much to the Middle Eastern countries for oil. At this rate, we’re going to need them to bail out our own government.

  98. dako81 says:

    @stinerman: Yea

    I don’t support either party since they both want to steal money from me and use it for their agenda’s, which 99% I don’t agree with. If they cared about me they’d let me keep all my money so I can better myself.

  99. stinerman says:


    There is a better than average chance that you live in a state that is strongly Democratic or Republican. In the case that you don’t, it pays to remember that your vote is independent of all other votes (my vote won’t magically change because you voted for Barr). That is to say, if you vote for Barr, the only way your vote will put Obama in the White House is if McCain and Obama were exactly tied in the vote count and that state had enough electoral votes to put Obama over the top in EVs. That scenario is statistically improbable to the point that it can be disregarded.

    A much more probable scenario would be that you were to die in a car accident on the way to the polling place, thereby negating your vote.

    When you look at the statistics of voting, it only makes sense to vote for who you think is best for the office.

  100. Bladefist says:

    @stinerman: Best comment I’ve seen out of you. Hit the nail on the head. The housing issues of today are being addressed by both parties. Which is why this isn’t really a political debate in the comments. The people who are against it, are for conservative ideals. Or atleast in this one case. Some may hate to admit it. Republicans kind of bounce back between Bush-left, and say Romney-Right? There really hasn’t been a real conservative president in a long time. Democrats are probably the same. With Carter Left, and Clinton rightish-Left? At any rate, all the politicans in power right now are pretty socialist on Americans scale (relatively, not including europe, or the true meaning of socialism).

    A lot of people here are upset about the bail outs, and it’s because entitlement is extremely prevlant in America. Until we bring about American values, Entitlement will continue to breed volatile markets and bailouts

  101. dako81 says:

    @Bladefist: I agree with what you’ve just said!

  102. Bladefist says:

    @stinerman: ooo Bad guess. I live in Missouri. Swing state. And I live in the liberal side (Kansas City) (Saint Louis is red).

    Your logic is right, but mine can be too. My vote means so little, that the only way I can feel important is by canceling out my friends vote for Obama lol.

  103. Techguy1138 says:

    @Bladefist: You really think Bush was right on the war then you mention economics?

    He so vastly underestimated the domestic economic consequences of his actions we may be dealing with the repercussions for the next century.

    Even so the breath of this loan is small in the scope of the crisis 5-10 billion isn’t even a month of Iraq. It affects 400k people and does not renegotiate the price of their home but rather changes the terms of the mortgage. So they still have to pay back the full amount and hopefully this will hit people who can mostly afford their home but the not an adjustable mortgage.

    Since the scope is small,400k people and the price is low and it is aimed homeowners who can afford their homes but not their mortgages Bush decided it was a good idea.

    There are of course 2 other factors. This is an election year and Bush has to take the last of his political power and make things better for mccain. He may have also seen that the lenders are foreclosing on homes anyway,which was his primary objection to the bill in the first place.

  104. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    @Puck: [consumerist.com]

    He shoots, he scores…

  105. Techguy1138 says:

    @Bladefist: Republicans in the last 8 years with free reign of the country have been the most radical political group I’ve seen.

    The Republican base has been completely gutless in challenging this. Bigger government, radical fiscal policy, secret policing, reduction of constitutional powers, reckless spending are now hallmarks of the party. People like Ron Paul point this out and are ‘radical’ in stating this isn’t the way the GOP should behave.

    The bailout by Bush and the new congress actually seems like a fairly reasonable and conservative way to provide a modest dent in the economic crisis while helping homeowner and business alike. I’m glad at least one ‘major’ policy decision seems to be based on Keynesian policies as opposed to the laissez-faire policies that were a bad idea 100 years ago 30 years ago and still are now.

  106. mac-phisto says:

    @Techguy1138 <– terrorist. traitor. eats babies.

  107. crabbyman6 says:

    I have to agree with Bladefist et al on this one, the market will, eventually, correct itself. I’d still be interested if anyone has any ideas re my previous comment:@crabbyman6:

    @Wormfather is Wormfather: errr
    Commenters are not moderators
    If you see a commenter violating these rules, email moderator@consumerist.com. Posting only to point out someone is breaking the rules is distracting and unnecessary. So no rules lawyering or “junior moderating” in the threads. Don’t try to argue the fine points of how your comments are just within the rules. Always post with the spirit of the comments code and not just its letter.

  108. RabbitDinner says:

    @crabbyman6: I always appreciate some good irony

  109. crabbyman6 says:

    Curses for not previewing my comment. The comment I’m referring to is this.

  110. @trogam:

    He was against it initially, but changed his mind after people got angry.

    He was against it, but changed his mind after the wording and conditions of the bill were changed.

    Sorry to interfere with the Bush-bashing.

  111. battra92 says:

    @Bladefist: I posted something earlier but I guess the Gawker Goblins ate it, which seems to happen from time to time.

    Personally I think it’s rather sad and depressing that these people were bailed out. I thought this was a perfect time to get rid of the leeches like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I wonder if I stop paying my student loans if the government will just pay for them too?

    But the mischief is done and the only relief for the American people is to shorten sail, seem down the top mast and prepare for a hurricane.

  112. There seem to be two schools of thought here:
    1) Great idea, this should have been done earlier!
    2) Bad idea, why are you wasting my tax dollars bailing out these deadbeats?

    The reality is that the average homeowner who isn’t in trouble from this mess is getting screwed either way.

    The real options are: 1) Your tax dollars are spent helping subsidize FRMs for people who can’t afford their mortgage, or 2) Your home value continues to plummet as foreclosures mount, your community gets partially abandoned, etc.

    These are the two realities. I HATE the idea of my tax bucks bailing out homeowners and lenders who were irresponsible. But I hate worse my neighborhood filling with vacant, unkempt, crime-attracting homes, selling for pennies on the dollar and driving dowm MY home’s value.

    It’s six of one, half-dozen of another. The reality is that the average homeowner is affected either way – it’s just a matter of how you’d RATHER be affected.

  113. mac-phisto says:

    @InfiniTrent: exactly. personally, i’m for it b/c i’d rather have a neighborhood of owners than a neighborhood of renters. even irresponsible owners tend to keep their houses in better shape than absentee landlords.

  114. TouchMyMonkey says:

    @Bladefist: This is one issue where liberals and conservatives seem to come together. The only reason Congress and the President are doing anything at all is because of the truly greedy – the banks – not the homeowners. The homeowners only get help because it helps the damn banks, who should have been allowed to take their lumps. I hope the next President (please, God, let it be Obama) unleashes a legion of regulators on the banking industry – God only knows they can use all the oversight and direction they can get, and then some. From here on, anyone in that industry who even implies that they can be trusted to self-regulate should be flogged.

  115. xkevin108x says:

    I’m so glad we no longer have any financial responsibility in this country at all! All we have to do is give the government all of our money and they take care of everything! Freedom is great! Oh, wait…

  116. trujunglist says:


    Agreed. Let the entire market fucking fail. That way, the idiots lose and have to face the consequences of their stupidity, and people like me who are unable to afford housing because of inflated prices and what not can finally get into a house and stop paying crazy rent prices while getting nothing in return.
    Basically, all responsible renters would just switch places with these irresponsible owners. As an added bonus, all of the shitty apartment management places that I’ve had to deal with over the years get fucked out of tons of money when their renters don’t pay up due to their continuing stupidity!

  117. trujunglist says:


    I don’t think ANYONE thinks that Obama can fix everything by this time next year. No one I’ve ever spoken to has suggested that. The amount of damage done by this administration alone will take YEARS to fix. Look at the Iraq fucking war dude. That’s going to take at least 2 years to get straight, assuming that we follow the minimum timeline that Iraq and Obama (and now McCain, how convenient) are suggesting is appropriate.
    Obama is a hope for many people that things will change, but shit, even he says it’s going to take a goddamn long time.
    You must hate America with the way you talk about the future president.

  118. Savage says:

    Great photo of a sullen looking Bush. I do not like him.

  119. brokenimage says:

    @mariospants: Also keep in mind at that some point you’ll have to think about the North American Union.

  120. StoneKitten says:

    It appears that few of you have actually read the terms of the bill.
    How about doing that before griping ?
    Approx. 2.8 million Americans are facing foreclosure.
    This bill will rescue a small %.
    Even then homeowners have to show proof they can afford to keep their homes.
    I’m shocked by the selfish and ignorant remarks made on this thread.
    I’m not even a raging lib and I can see the benefits of this bill passing.

  121. Jaysyn was banned for: https://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:


    Another illogical, fluff response from Bladefist. You make this way too easy.

  122. NYGal81 says:

    Yes, there are a number of terms and conditions that the homeowners must adhere to. For that, I’m only slightly less pissed. Why? Because the ongoing “mortgage crisis” is the end result of enormous greed and stupidity on the part of both buyers and lenders. Now *both* are being afforded the chance to make changes to the original terms of their contracts to avoid feeling the pinch of those damned pesky consequences.

    There’s something patently wrong with a system/bill/plan that effectively rewards greed and ignorance/stupidity. Taxpayer money will finance this effort to reduce personal and institutional responsibility for making prudent, logical, and well-considered decisions. People who bought homes they couldn’t afford without shady ARMs should be held accountable for those actions, even if it means they lose the house. The banks should be held responsible for the bad loans they’ve made. Without accountability, people/institutions don’t learn. Without the experience of consequences, we can’t possibly hope that this exact situation won’t develop again in the future. Bailouts provide no incentive for anything to be done differently the next time around.

    Maybe my anger is selfish. I’m angry about this development because I’d rather see a system that rewards responsibility, rather than the reverse. My husband and I did our research when we bought our home in June. We were offered a $400K mortgage, when clearly we could only afford to buy in the $160-$180K range. We bought a house we could afford. We avoided the trap of interest only or ARMs and opted for a fixed rate. We had a (very) small down payment. Where’s my reward for doing everything right? Nobody’s going to drop my interest rate, or write my loan down to 90% of the value of our home. (I guess that’s were “selfishness” comes in) Yet people who bought *waaaaaay* out of their budget and who didn’t know their ass from their elbow as far as mortgages go are going to get help they don’t deserve. Pardon me, but I think I’m allowed to have a problem with that.

    I do lean left, but I don’t think that being moderate-to-slightly liberal has anything to do with my crazy, idealistic wish that everyone could just take responsibility for their actions–regardless of the outcomes.

  123. Saboth says:

    Well I’m glad I got a loan I could afford and didn’t run amok with credit card/auto/home loans. So…where is my reward? Oh, my tax dollars are going to go help the idiots that can’t manage their money? I’m so glad.

  124. Saboth says:


    What’s funny is people are SO against government healthcare, but it’s a-ok if we let them manage our mortgages, social security, taxes, and everything in-between.

  125. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    @crabbyman6: there was nothing in my comment that moderated, I simply posted a link. Nothing inferred or implied.

  126. StoneKitten says:

    Well the problem here is that MANY mortgage brokers are completely lying scumsuckers. Forget just the banks.

    So even though I’m completely middle of the road politically, I see how many people got screwed over by banks and it is just that they get 2nd chance.

    I actually have to sue a Mortgage broker and the lenders for predatory lending over the loan they gave my Mother who recently had a stroke.

    When the person you’re giving the refi loan to is nearly blind, partially paralyzed and drolling, MAYBE just maybe they don’t understand what docs they’re signing.

    ::copperplum:: blood pressure rising…
    off to kickbox.