Friday, June 4, 2010

Can the Strategic Defaulters save the US Economy?

The private sector remains in a catatonic state, searching for a bottom line to justify the reemployment of American workers. Yet even as the economy is temporarily jarred by strategic defaulters, the concern of economists has been, will they be enough to sustain the economy long term?

And as serious as this question is, it boils down once again to Wall Street. Whether these strategic defaulters can save the economy long term will depend on the banks, the longer they take to foreclose and evict the more than 8 million homeowners now in default, and those who come after them, the longer the temporary surge in retail sales will be sustained, although it has been flat for the past 3 months, it is sustaining some semblance of an economic recovery even without job growth.

The Banks are so over whelmed with the volume of defaults that the time to foreclose has been extended, now exceeding 14 and approaching 20 months. But as more homeowners make that decision to join in the movement and stop making their mortgage payments the time to foreclose will only be extended until Wall Street finally concedes.

And amid the volume of defaults banks like BoA have begun to rethink what they have done to us, and in an effort to make peach with their borrowers and avert a real back lash they are attempting to initiate a real loan modification program. They are reducing not only the interest rate, and the monthly payment but the principal to a more realistic valuation. If their program is successful, which every consideration says it should be BoA could be the first bank to actually help put America back to work.

Defaulting loans are placing a financial strain on all banks, and perhaps this is really sending a message to Wall Street. Meanwhile those who make that determination to simply stop making their mortgage payments have become the new American Heroes.

We need time, and the strategic defaulters may have just bought it for us.