By Les Christie
NEW YORK -- The $25 billion foreclosure settlement has many Americans crying foul.
While some claim the deal helps too few homeowners, others say it gives irresponsible borrowers an undeserved bailout.
"This entire deal sucks! Keep taking away the chances for middle class America to get ahead and what good is our American system," wrote a reader with the handle Bushywalrus.
"So what the government is telling me is if I were to go break the law. LIE CHEAT and STEAL change all my morales. I would get away clean and not have to pay a cent," wrote nnmfam.
What about me? As part of the mortgage settlement, four out of the five major lenders -- Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Ally Financial -- have promised to reduce mortgage balances for underwater borrowers who are behind on payments by as much as $20,000. While Bank of America plans to reduce principal on loans by an average of $100,000. But these reductions will only occur for a select group of borrowers.
"I'm under water, I've lost 10s of thousands in value. I may not be with one of these banks, but it is because of them that the market is where it is. So I get to pay for others' problems? Where's my bailout? Where's my refi? This stinks," wrote tet1953.
"[T]hink about this as well, BOA reduces someones mortgage by 100k... 3 years later market rebounds.. house prices go up.. that person sells home... they walk away with profit... all the while... Person B that didnt get bail out tries to sell.. they are still under water...," wrote mikesoda.
Those who have a mortgage held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac -- roughly half the market -- are also cut out of the deal. In addition, loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration are ineligible, leaving many homeowners feeling left out in the cold.
"It is just a ridiculous that we have no help for the government insured loan of FHA. So much for Fair Housing Administration," wrote AnneT1127.
The big banks are getting away with murder. "Once again the fat cat bankers lobbied long and hard to water this settlement down to nothing," wrote Bubingeorgia.
Many readers echoed that sentiment, noting that the $25 billion deal was not nearly enough compared to the amount of money homeowners have lost since the housing bubble burst.
"Still trying to figure how the banks got away with paying 26 billion, which is a fraction of a % of trillions of dollars. Now we find out the mortgages they sold at 100% profit are not liable to claim any part of the 26 billion. LOL," wrote gophacks.
Some commenters are angry with the government for not coming down harder on the banks for their foreclosure abuses.
"[I] bet the government thinks they have really done something great! what a bunch of losers. i want to know how much the banks made off their criminal actions and compare it to what they have given back," wrote 1ajs1.
They don't deserve a bailout. Many readers felt the settlement is a bailout for irresponsible borrowers that overleveraged themselves and who are now being rewarded for it. In fact, there are very few provisions to help those who are diligently paying their mortgage under the settlement deal. Only a small fraction of the settlement money -- $3 billion -- will go toward refinancing mortgages for those who are current on payments.
"If they bail out the morons who did NOT pay and screw us paying customers this is a slap in the face to ALL of us... You don't pay your mortgage you lose the home simple as that," wrote Jacknyd.
Calsfdude wrote: "Why should we or the government buy houses for greedy people who can't afford any house? It's their fault. They had no money. They thought that they could make a quick buck. They played and lost."
"The moral of the story is to borrow as much as you can, put zero down, and wait for bailouts," concluded J.d. Free.
More from CNNMoney:
What the Foreclosure Settlement Means for You
Foreclosures: A 'Rising Tide Ahead'
One Man's Fight Against Foreclosures (video)
By Les Christie