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. Chris Archer knocked out early as Rays lose to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Another short outing by Chris Archer led to another long afternoon for the Rays in a 9-4 loss to the Orioles on Sunday.

  2. Bucs-Vikings report card: Where's this explosive offense we heard about all offseason?


    O NO

    True, the Bucs defense looked pretty leaky in the 34-17 loss to the Vikings. But you know what needs to happen when the defense is getting torched? The offense needs to step up. In games such as these, with defensive players seemingly getting hurt every play, the offense needs to outscore the other …

    Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes (26) intercepts a Jameis Winston pass intended for wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Bucs-Vikings: Instant analysis from Tampa Bay's 34-17 loss


    MINNEAPOLIS — Here's Rick Stroud and Tom Jones' instant analysis from the Bucs' 34-17 loss at Minnesota Sunday. More to come from Rick & Tom — and Greg Auman —- from Minneapolis later today.

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright (17) dives over the pylon for a touchdown as  Bucs cornerback Ryan Smith (29) defends. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Worst-Case scenario: Case Keenum, Vikings hand Bucs 34-17 loss


    MINNEAPOLIS — With key defensive starters out with injury, the Bucs were dominated by the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, with fill-in quarterback Case Keenum beating Tampa Bay for the third year in a row, …

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) is sacked by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Officials: 1 dead, 7 victims hurt in Tennessee church shooting


    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A masked gunman entered a church in Tennessee on Sunday and opened fire, killing at least one person and injuring seven others before apparently shooting himself, an official said.