Readers Respond: A 20% down payment debate

The National Association of Home Builders is among the industry groups lining up against a planned 20% down payment rule for qualified residential mortgages. Here's what we heard from readers.

"I believe a 20% down payment would end up making a much healthier housing industry in the long run."
— Tim Stine
Stine Lumber

"This will have a negative impact on absorbing the extra houses on the market from foreclosures. It would seem to me that a smaller down payment with better due diligence by the lender in verifying income and real credit history from willing buyers would be a better way to go."
— Ira Swartz

“I'm certain the NAHB would prefer 0% down payment -- but we've been through that scenario and we are still trying to crawl out from under it! A 15% to 25% down payment is not unreasonable if you're the one financing the balance of a mortgage.”
— Paul Siegel

"I think that if due diligence had been followed in the past and we hadn't loaned money to people who didn't even have jobs, then the housing market wouldn't have crashed in the first place. By doing what we did, we over-inflated the value of homes by creating a false demand. Just check to ensure borrowers are in fact credit worthy."
— Vicki Worley

"Twenty percent is too much. Ten percent for well-qualified borrowers would be appropriate. For people with sketchy credit, 20% would be OK."
— Anonymous


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