Loan expert: few Arizonans will qualify for Obama's plan

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Some struggling homeowners disappointed about Obama's plan
azfamily.com

PHOENIX - House prices are falling fast so homeowners all across the Valley are looking for help.

They want help from the Obama Administration's new plan.

A series of workshops have been designed to help struggling homeowners figure out if and how it will benefit them.

After the first workshop held Thursday, it seemed that most left disappointed.

The new plan drew a big crowd of homeowners to the event.

Some had continued to make their payments and some who hadn't, but all were wondering about how the plan could help them.

Robert Watson was hopeful he would get some help.

Like 43% of Arizona homeowners, Watson owes more than what his house is worth.

"Our house is so upside down it's pitiful," says one homeowner.

Frank and his wife own a property in Laveen, once valued at $1.5 million.

It's now worth three hundred thousand.

Most in the room have similar stories to tell and similar hopes for the president's new plan, which is supposed to help 10 million Americans from falling into foreclosure.

But, after a briefing tonight from mortgage professionals, people are finding that it's more difficult than expected.

"It really isn't an easy process," says mortgage broker Dean Werner.

Most of the once hopeful crowd was let down.

After reviewing the eligibility requirements, we asked a question:

"How many think you are eligible for one of Obama's plans: either loan modification or refinancing?"

Only two people raised their hands.

Arizona mortgage experts say a lot of Arizonans are too far upside down in their mortgages to qualify for refinancing under the new plan.

It's also hard to meet all the rest of the eligibility requirements.

"It is really narrow in scope; not that fantastic of a plan," says Werner.

Yet people are still calling it a turn in the right direction.

Most left with a better understanding of the plan, but without the help they came looking for.

There will be at least one more workshop for struggling homeowners.