February Foreclosures Up 30% from 2008; Does Obama Own the Crisis Yet?


Almost 291,000 homes across the US received at least one foreclosure-related notice last month, up 6 percent from January, says RealtyTrac.com, a compiler of foreclosure data.

The big question in the minds of pundits is when the Obama administration is going to officially own the economic and housing crisis. Fifty days into his administration, the President continues to remind us at every opportunity that he inherited this crisis, and that it is the fault of Bush and anyone other than him. Now that the President has made his Housing plan, his multi-trillion dollar budget, and more bailouts official, isn’t he officially running the show? Isn’t he the one whose policies dictate what is to happen in housing, the stock market, and every other facet of the economy?

My Way News reports “nearly 12 percent of all Americans with a mortgage – a record 5.4 million homeowners – were at least one month late or in foreclosure at the end of last year, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. That’s up from 10 percent at the end of the third quarter, and up from 8 percent at the end of 2007.”

Now that the Obama plans are officially up and running, we should be seeing a slowdown in the foreclosure data, right?

Only time will really show whether these various plans are effective, and we must give it some time, but I have an important question (amongst many others) . . .

Who is in Charge?

I believe that the current President is now fully responsible for what happens under his watch. If his plans don’t work, then he needs to step up and re-work them. If his stimulus isn’t effective, then he should take it back to the drawing board. If the foreclosure plan makes no sense, then man up and do something about it.

I’m tired of the whining and the blame game. If we’re going to blame people, we’re going to have a big list that includes in many ways, practically all Americans, including the President, Congress, Wall Street, Lenders, Agents, Home Owners, and on and on.

Lets focus our energy on ending the housing/foreclosure/economic crisis and stop telling everyone “it wasn’t my fault”, because it was. Most people just don’t care . . . they want to stop living in fear.

Lets do something about that!

About Author

Joshua Dorkin

Joshua Dorkin (@jrdorkin, Google+) founded BiggerPockets.com when he saw a need for free, trustworthy information about real estate investing online. Over the past 12 years, Josh has grown the site from self-funded hobby to full-time job and passion. Today, BiggerPockets brings together over 600,000 members, housing the world’s largest library of real estate content, iTunes’ #1 real estate podcast, and an array of analysis tools, all geared toward helping users succeed.


  1. “I believe that the current President is now fully responsible for what happens under his watch. If his plans don’t work, then he needs to step up and re-work them.”

    The question is really how much time is needed to see if his plans work? Our Country didn’t get into this mess after only a few months. It took a few years for this mess to unfold. So I would think it would be a little unfair and foolish to say that his ideas and plans aren’t working after only a few months of implementing them. But then again, how much time is really needed to see if his ideas and plans will work?

  2. j j hightower on

    OK, something I don’t understand here. Foreclosures for February, right? The proceedings for these foreclosures started something like, what, 6-8 months ago, depending on state laws? Last summer, or even earlier? And the tenants left sometimes around then? And this is Obama’s fault? Puh-lease, where is the last shred of objectivity here? Has it all gone in limbaugh (pun intended)?
    I used to like this site… now I’m not so sure.

  3. Richard Warren on

    For at least the rest of this year we are going to hear constant reference made to the “failed policies of the last eight years.” Of course he’s going to create or “save” millions of jobs. One question, how do you know if a job has been saved? Simple, you don’t. However, he can easily make the claim because it is impossible to measure or prove one way or the other.

  4. JJ – Start over and read the article from the beginning. No one blamed Obama for the crisis. Can you please point us all to the place where someone said that it is all Obama’s fault? Please quote me.

    You can’t.

    Its great that you support the President . . . we all should. You just seems to be hoping for a fight – get over it.

    We merely asked when Obama is going to start taking responsibility for his own actions, and for that legislation passed on his watch. If the President of the US is not responsible for the laws he passes, then who is?

  5. I think that every person in the United States played a part in the current economic mess that we are currently in. However, blaming others is the new theme of the country and it makes people feel “warm and fuzzy” inside when they see this message in the media reinforcing the blame game. This is what the population wants to hear, and Obama is delivering on this masterfully. We need to move back toward one of the pillars of our country, responsibility for one’s own actions and destinies. It should be the leader’s responsibility to communicate and promote this, rather than promoting irresponsibility.

  6. j j hightower on

    “I believe that the current President is now fully responsible for what happens under his watch. ”

    “Lets focus our energy on ending the housing/foreclosure/economic crisis and stop telling everyone “it wasn’t my fault”, because it was.”

    True story: On my street corner a house went into foreclosure. Owner was very responsible and vacated the property when he stopped paying mortgage. When? Sometime end of 2007, begin of 2008, I don’t recall. Back when Hillary was 101% dems candidate to beat. Obama who?

    Fast forward. Property sat empty for over a year and was finally foreclosed on this February. This house is the topic of this article.

    “Lets … stop telling everyone “it wasn’t my fault”, because it was.”

  7. Unfortunately… it seems as if the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is running the show and that’s extremely sad IMO.

    I’m not going to get into politics or current policies… but I think it’s safe to say that the inspiration seen at the monster campaign rallies (that even right wing conservatives admired) that led up to President Obama getting elected have completely disappeared at a time when some real motivational leadership is drastically needed.

    Everybody who ran for President knew full well that this term was not going to be a walk in the park… and the Voters did not elect President Obama to continuously remind everybody that his administration “inherited the current mess”.

    FDR inherited a mess also… and threw a bunch of money at the problem which also failed… but at least he got out there and made people feel as good as they could considering the circumstances.

    Even though the throw money at the problem policies of that time failed and ended up prolonging the Depression… at least people had some motivational inspiration in the form of fireside chats… and FDR went down in history as one of the most popular Presidents.

    Which… you really have to admire it when a President can have unemployment rates of over 15% for several years and keep the country from completely falling apart.

    Unfortunately… with all of the dissent now starting to pop up.. can you imagine what’s going to happen if the country hits 20% unemployment rates and foreign countries stop buying our debt?

    It’s going to be chaos unless the blame game stops…

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