(h/t Novahog): From CNN Money:
"Take Joe Martinez of Bristow, Va., who fits the profile of the 'responsible' homeowner Obama cited in the plan. The government contractor and his wife thought they did everything right when they bought their brand new $600,000 house two years ago. They put 5% down and got a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage they could afford.
Others in their neighborhood, however, couldn't keep up with the payments. As foreclosure rose, the value of the couple's home plummeted to $450,000, leaving them doubtful they'd ever recover their investment.
Martinez called their lender to try to get into the Hope for Homeowners program, which would reduce their loan balance to 90% of the home's current value. But they were turned down because they weren't in default.
So two months ago, the couple stopped paying their mortgage, hoping they could then qualify. But even if they don't, they are willing to take the hit on their credit scores to stop throwing money down the drain.
'There's just no point to stay here,' said Martinez, 29, adding he could rent the house across the street for half his monthly mortgage payment. 'We don't want to give up our home, but it's never going to come back'.
. . . . Martinez isn't interested in having his interest rate lowered. He would like to see some of his principal forgiven.
'Why would it be such a big deal for them to modify my loan?' he said, noting that his tax dollars are being used to finance the program. 'Wouldn't that stabilize the economy?'"