“It sounds like hype to say it, but underwater homeowners can change the course of history. It's not me saying that -- it's the numbers. People who owe more than their homes are worth have the power to become the a powerful new political and economic force.”
The key is organization. 40 million people carry a lot of economic weight they can throw around if they gather momentum as a whole. Here is how the numbers break down; Zillow did a study that revealed 16 million homes where underwater (with the average number of 2.6 people per house) the resulting force of voters underwater is over 40 million!
“40 million people is more than the population of Connecticut. Of Iowa. Of Mississippi. Of Kansas, Arkansas, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, West Virginia, Nebraska, Idaho, Maine, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, Alaska, Vermont, North Dakota, the District of Columbia and Wyoming ...
In fact, it's more than all of them put together.”
132,618,580 people voted in the last presidential election. RESULTING NUMBER: underwater homeowners could make up for 18% of all voters! They are a huge political force to be reckoned with. Equally, they are a large economic player. Here is why: $1.2 trillion is the lost value underwater mortgages account for. More specifically, the difference between what was owed and what a home was worth is on average $64,000 (the average total owed was $252,000). Take the $1.2 trillion and multiply is by the ratio of the second set of numbers (4) and you get $4.8 trillion!
To paraphrase an old saying, if one person doesn't pay his mortgage, it's a tragedy. If 16 million don't pay, it's a freakin' revolution.
Will underwater home owners unite and act upon the clout they have? Probably not. All that needs to happen is for people to get interested, get educated, and get involved. But then again, that is asking a lot.