The latest report by First American CoreLogic seem to say the worst as far as home equity. They estimate that throughout the nation, homeowners who have negative equity may not see any improvement until 2014 or as late as 2016 as far as seeing any positive equitable changes to occur.

But the news may get even worse instead of better. For homeowners who are living in certain parts of the United States where it is being considered severely depressed markets, those consumers in a "underwater" or negative equity position may have to wait till 2020 or later for any positive news.

Current statistics are showing that an unbelievable 11.3 million homeowners are in this underwater equitable state when it comes to their home equity. This is a ghastly 24 percent of the U.S. mortgage market at the end of the fourth quarter in 2009 according to CoreLogic.

St Louis lending experts are somewhat sure and are now saying that the largest decreases in overall home prices has already hit the consumer. But questions arise as to the actual time frame it will take for these borrowers to recoup their original home investment.

Homeowners throughout the nation are wanting answers to this financial horror story and by using projected future home values and unpaid principal balances for a selected set of Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs), CoreLogic is optimistic with figuring out how long it will take for the average underwater consumer to return to positive equity.

According to these initial projections, it will take the average borrower until 2015 or even the early part of 2016 for negative equity to completely disappear. And that is entirely dependent on how quickly this recession ends and if new jobs start opening up for those unemployed.

But on the other hand, let's take Detroit or similar cities that have been economically devastated. They have been and still are facing historically severe housing market. They may not see any form of positive equity until 2020. And it is being said negative equity has been and continues to be a trigger to strategic default.

There have been reports that the United States Treasury Department is going to approach various lenders and mortgage servicers to offer homeowners principal reductions on their home mortgages by making this available through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) refinancing division. This seems to be the optimistic solution to this mammoth problem.

Whereas millions of hopeful consumers including St Louis mortgage owners are awaiting the day that their homes start appreciating and it time that will happen, an economist shared a more direct solution stating that by paying down one's own loan balance it would no doubt bring about a quicker solution to this negative equity debacle.

Now as far as loan payments and price increases are concerned, St Louis mortgage brokers are saying that over the next 10 years, the average loan balance will decrease by an annual rate of 3.3 percent. But the average home price is expected to increase at a 3 percent annual rate over the same time period. Again, not much profit as regards home appreciation. We will have to wait and see.