“For the debt-to-income ratio to return to 65 percent, mortgage debt needs to fall from its current level of $8.9 trillion to $6.4 trillion to $7.4 trillion,” Madeline Schnapp, TrimTabs director of economic research lays out very clearly in a report to clients today. “At the current pace, it could take four to six more years to work through the current and expected backlog of delinquencies.”
One problem with this math could be that Schnapp assumes there will be very little income growth because of high unemployment so the only way to get back to normal is to lower the debt side of the equation through foreclosures. However, she’s also assuming 60 to 65 percent is the “sustainable” amount of debt to income an average homeowner can handle and many believe that will still have to come down even further. Either way, you’re left with at least a five-year slog, according to many economists and investors.
“It may take longer than 4-6 years in my opinion to work through the delinquencies,” said Simon Baker, CEO of Baker Avenue Asset Management. He cited the stall in the foreclosure process taking place in the court system as banks are forced to prove they actually own mortgages that changed so many hands during Wall Street’s securitization process.