Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

PolitiFact: Obama Promise No. 434 — Set a three-month moratorium on foreclosures — is a compromise

No. 434: Set a three-month moratorium on foreclosures

"I'll put a three-month moratorium on foreclosures so that we give homeowners the breathing room they need to get back on their feet."

Barack Obama, in a speech Oct. 22 in Richmond, Va.

What happened after Obama made this promise gets a little complicated, as far as where the promise stands.

A few weeks after Obama's election, the federal mortgage holders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced a foreclosure moratorium starting on Nov. 26. The moratorium lasted until Jan. 31. Two weeks after that, on Feb. 13, the agencies said the moratorium would be reinstated in anticipation of a major Obama plan on the foreclosure crisis.

Meanwhile, some private banks announced their own voluntary foreclosure moratoria.

On Feb. 11, the leaders of eight major banks came before Congress to answer questions about how they were using money from the Troubled Assets Relief Program. During the hearing, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., told them he expected them to stop foreclosures until the Obama administration had time to present its plan for addressing the crisis. The same day, the U.S. Office of Thrift Supervision called on institutions it regulates to voluntarily stop owner-occupied foreclosures as well.

A week later, Obama unveiled his $75 billion plan to help some borrowers with subprime or underwater mortgages refinance their loans.

Officials pledged they would release detailed guidelines for the plan in March. The day of Obama's announcement, even more banks pledged to stop foreclosures until the guidelines were released.

So Obama has not made a clear call for a three-month moratorium since taking office. But federal agencies have had a moratorium going essentially since the end of November. Obama has also announced a housing plan, and federal regulators and other leaders have called for a halt to foreclosures until the plan is in place. Obama is not meeting the letter of his pledge, but clearly a number of voluntary moratoria are in effect. Feels like Compromise.

Angie Drobnic Holan, PolitiFact staff writer

PolitiFact: Obama Promise No. 434 — Set a three-month moratorium on foreclosures — is a compromise 02/24/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 24, 2009 10:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. After offseason of work hard, play hard, DeSean Jackson ready to produce for Bucs


    TAMPA — There's no telling what DeSean Jackson will do once he gets a football in his hands. Perhaps that's why a camera crew followed his every move Wednesday while the Bucs' new $30 million receiver stood on a step of the hot tub that empties into a spacious, azure pool at his new, sprawling five-bedroom home in …

    DeSean Jackson jokes around with girlfriend Kayla Phillips at their Tampa home as a crew from HBO’s Hard Knocks documents their day.
  2. Trump announces $10 billion Foxconn plant in Wisconsin


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that electronics giant Foxconn will build a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin that's expected to initially create 3,000 jobs, the largest economic development project in state history.

    President Donald Trump embraces Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the East Room of the White House during an announcement Wednesday that Foxconn is going to build a plant in Wisconsin.
  3. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with key series at Yankees up first (w/ video)

    The Heater


    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Conservatives come to Sessions' defense amid Trump attacks


    WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans and influential conservatives rallied around Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday as President Donald Trump kept up his public pelting of the nation's top law enforcement officer and left his future in doubt.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions
  5. Jones: Alex Cobb proves again why he's Rays' stopper, no matter how long he's here (w/ video)

    The Heater


    If a team hopes to hang around the pennant race, it better have an ace. A stopper. A pitcher it can count on every fifth day to stop the bleeding, keep a winning streak going or flat-out win a game that a team flat-out needs to win.

    Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing the first inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]