So what do you think? Do you agree with Mr. O'Neil's opinion below?

President Bush's former treasury secretary Paul O'Neill says Congress should scrap plans for a new economic stimulus package and instead require that no future home mortgage be awarded without a 20 percent down payment.

If every mortgage was backed by a 20 percent down payment, O'Neill said, the financial system would be protected long-term, even if some individual investments or businesses failed. "If you can't afford a home mortgage, we shouldn't give you one," he said.

Seems a little harsh to me. I agree with his views about home ownership, but 20% seems a bit steep. I bought my first 3 properties with 5% down and I've never missed a payment. 100% financing is different animal. When borrowers don't have anything invested in their homes, they have nothing to lose except the home itself.

I've always felt that banks need to look at borrowers on a case by case basis. If someone has a full time job, sufficient income, excellent credit and can put down 5-10%, I see that as an excellent candidate for a loan. I work with young professional buyers all the time who fit that mold and I'm pretty sure none of them have defaulted on their loans.

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