President Obama Coming to Phoenix to Reveal His Plan to Stem Foreclosures

Real Estate Agent with Utah Homes 9334967-SA00

Pretend you're the President of a company and you're going to present a plan that saves the company.

Do you feel any pressure- knowing the obstacles are so large?

Multiply that by millions.


President Obama is facing challenges unlike any others in my lifetime.

There's an ongoing war and every industry in America is facing financial difficulties.

Many say that the root of the problem is housing.

So... where do you go to pitch your plan?

How about Phoenix.


In a city named for a bird that rises from the ashes there are glimpses of the dismall...

.... and there are glimpses of hope.

As Dickens said, "the best of times" and "the worst of times."

Single family home sales are up 49%. (Arizona Republic, Feb 13, 2009, D1)

Yet foreclosures are climbing.

The median priced home in the valley In January of 2008 was $243k.

Now it's $146k.

That's a 44% drop.

(Arizona Republic, Feb 13, 2009, D4)


The Stimulus package has been debated ad-nauseum.

I'm not going to deal with that here.

I'm in real estate so I have these concerns:

  1. Stemming the downward spiral in home pricing.
  2. Decreasing unemployment.
  3. Curbing the foreclosures.

To the last point, three banks have decided to suspend foreclosures for the immediate future. Bank of America, Citicorp and JP Morgan Chase have declared that they'll put things on hold for a while.

As the article "Obama to Unveil Plan to Stem Foreclosures" states:

"A trial balloon floated this week suggests that Obama will follow the suggestions of Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair, who thinks banks must take some losses and get owners of distressed mortgages into a monthly mortgage payment that amounts to somewhere from 31 to 38 percent of their monthly after-tax income."

As a person who believes that free market forces should have more sway than man-made quick-fixes, I'm somewhat concerned about large scale spending plans. After all, tax breaks and spending require re-payment. However, we're also in one of those phases where one may argue that the large entities that broke the system need to pay to fix it. My largest concern is that the medication may cover some symptoms and prolong the ailment. Witness Japan's willingness to spend their way through a long and labored market downturn... perhaps lending to a protracted recovery.

Regardless of the differences in economic ideology- I'm all ears for what our president has to say. He's coming to my city and I'm happy to see he appears to be hard at work. I wish him very well with his presentation.


Chuck Willman is a real estate agent based in the Phoenix metro area.

Comments (9)

John Walters
Frank Rubi Real Estate - Slidell, LA
Licensed in Louisiana

Chuck I just don't have a lot of faith in him or his administrators.  I guess I will listen but I don't know.  I still think we should have let the bad banks go down and moved on.  The strong banks would buy the pieces.

Feb 14, 2009 02:01 AM
Chuck Willman
Utah Homes - Alpine, UT
Utah Homes

John- He's facing quite the challenge... the article link gives this additional information:

"Since 2006, when the scope of the housing problem first became apparent, more than 1 million homes have been foreclosed on. Some estimates suggest that number could increase to 6 million by 2013. Even as Obama tries to halt the foreclosures, the deepening recession is layering on new problems. Beyond the subprime mortgages given to the weakest borrowers, the default rate is climbing for borrowers who had been in good standing as they join the more than 3.6 million Americans who've lost their jobs since the recession began in December 2007."

Feb 14, 2009 02:06 AM
Susie Blackmon
Ocala, FL
Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing

I agree with John. Let the !@#$% banks crash and burn. Yes, housing is important... but the job market is putting nails in coffins.

Feb 14, 2009 04:11 AM
Ellie McIntire
Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate - Ellicott City, MD
Luxury service in Central Maryland

I'm thinking he should head to Florida very soon too. Every other home is a foreclosure. Imagine the stats in another 6 months.

Feb 14, 2009 05:53 AM
Mara Hawks
First Realty Auburn - Auburn, AL
Inactive-2012 REALTOR - Homes for Sale Auburn Real Estate, AL

ad-nauseum??? ad-nauseum??? That really is funny----but oh so very true! Your "all ears" attitude is the best...I know you'll rake in the wisdom and continue to enlighten your customers and readers. Very nice post! (btw, where's that bridal website? :-)

Feb 14, 2009 10:20 AM
Kate Elim
Dockside Realty - Spotsylvania, VA
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a

Hi Chuck...Way too many people are hurting to let this downward spiral continue.  It's easy to say let the banks crash and burn.  Do we really know what the consequences would be?  We are in enough trouble without taking too many more risks.

Some people seem to be much more upset about the stimulus plan than the state of the economy right now.  How can they be so sure this is the wrong way to go?  I wish I had all the answers.

Hopefully President Obama and his team have some that will help us.



Feb 14, 2009 11:25 AM
Jennie L. James

Ellie, President Obama was in Florida last week!

It is hard to rebuild a country after someone (W.) had been letting it self destruct for the last 8 years! Have some faith and give the President some time to try and fix things.

I do believe that people will not buy houses as long as they think they might lose their job any day now!

Feb 14, 2009 02:00 PM
Chuck Willman
Utah Homes - Alpine, UT
Utah Homes

I'll speak generally instead of specifically to each of these comments so far. Regarding banks- though we could let them fail at some point it would be to our detriment since such activity would, in my opinion, severely tighten lending. Without lending there is little selling. With regard to the current president and the stimulus package- regardless of the choice for President (Republican or Democrat), both wanted a stimulus package... so my opinion is pretty indepenedant of political parties. Besides, I'm of the mindset that the President has limited power to guide our laws. It is the House and Senate that makes legislation- the chief executive can offer guidance and leadership... but can only approve or veto... the use of each expends or creates political power. So, in the past five years... I have tended to watch what congress is doing and how the president reacts to it. Now... with regard to unemployment and foreclosure activity... these two issues are something that can be attacked in traditional geo-political ways. I'm interested in seeing the steps that our leaders will take in the coming weeks, months and years.

Feb 15, 2009 03:15 AM
Leslie Prest
Leslie Prest, Prest Realty, Sales and Rentals in Payson, AZ - Payson, AZ
Owner, Assoc. Broker, Prest Realty, Payson,

Did you see the TV segment showing the people camped out already to see his speech? Let's hope the ideas are good.

Feb 16, 2009 05:28 AM