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Financially Troubled Homeowners Say No to Government Bailout

Thursday, July 28, 2011

One of the enduring myths in the debate over federal spending is that voters want spending cuts in general but reject cuts to specific programs that help them. New data on the attitudes of financially troubled homeowners casts doubt upon that belief.

Data already released shows that most Americans believe it would be better for financially troubled homeowners to sell their home and buy something less expensive rather than having the government assist them in making payments. A closer look at the data shows that financially troubled homeowners share that view. Specifically, among those who have missed a mortgage payment in the past six months, 54% say the better approach is for financially troubled homeowners to sell and by something less expensive. Data from Rasmussen Reports national telephone surveys finds that only 34% of those who have missed a payment think the better option is for the government to provide them with financial assistance.

The same tone comes through loud and clear when using other potential definitions of financially troubled homeowners. Among those whose home is worth less than their mortgage, 70% say the better option is for struggling homeowners to sell their home and buy something less expensive. Only 20% of those whose home values are underwater think government financial assistance is the answer.

When it comes to those who expect the value of their home to go down over the coming year, the results are similar—70% say sell and 21% think financial assistance from the government is a better solution.  

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Two national telephone surveys  of 1,000 Adults were conducted May 14-15 and July 17-18, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error for each survey is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.


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