The Case for Foreclosures: Foundation of Recovery
Preventing foreclosures has become a top priority of politicians, economists and regulators. In fact, allowing foreclosures to happen has merit as a free-market solution to the crisis.
If the intent is to help homeowners, then foreclosure is undoubtedly the best solution. Household balance sheets have been destroyed by taking on too much debt via the purchase of inflated assets. With so little savings, a household with negative equity almost implies negative net worth. Walking away from the mortgage immediately repairs the balance sheet.
Credit may be damaged, but homeowners can rebuild it. And by renting something they can afford, instead of the McMansion they cannot, homeowners are most likely to have some money left over each month that they can save toward a down payment on a house they can eventually afford. If the intent is to help the credit markets, then foreclosure is undoubtedly the best solution.
Foreclosures provide the foundation of recovery, both for Main Street and Wall Street. As properties are foreclosed, they can move from weak hands to strong hands. Households that have been foreclosed upon today are the buyers of tomorrow, when given a chance to recover.
~"Why Be a Nation of Mortgage Slaves?" in today's WSJ, Ramsey Su