August 19, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Record profits from bailed-out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have helped reduce the federal budget deficit and put off an increase in the nation's debt limit, but a new government report raises questions about how the mortgage finance giants are accounting for future losses. The two companies, which were seized by the government in 2008, have been avoiding billions of dollars in potential long-term losses by delaying a requirement that they write off more of the delinquent mortgages they own or back, according to the inspector general for the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees the firms.
October 13, 2013 |
Anyone thinking of skating on mortgages owned by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac may want to think again. As a result of new government reports, the two companies say they are going to do a better job of going after so-called strategic defaulters. Fannie and Freddie can pursue judgments against borrowers who walk away from their loans even though they have the ability to make their payments. That's called a strategic default, and many borrowers are taking that step - typically throwing in the towel because their homes are no longer worth as much as they owe. But when their homes are sold at foreclosure and the proceeds are not enough to cover their outstanding loan balances, it creates a deficiency for which many defaulters either don't realize they are liable or don't care.
August 16, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - You may have seen two sets of news reports recently that didn't quite add up: First, President Obama called for the liquidation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the country's largest providers of funds for home mortgages. Then, Fannie Mae announced its sixth straight quarterly profit and said it was sending $10.2 billion in dividends to the Treasury. Freddie Mac also reported a hefty profit - $5 billion over the previous three months - and said it is providing $4.4 billion in dividends to the government.
May 1, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Pressure is mounting on a key federal regulator to allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to reduce loan principal amounts for struggling homeowners, after disclosures that a plan to do that was scuttled even though it was aimed at saving taxpayer money and helping to heal the housing market. Fannie Mae officials in 2009 supported principal reductions in some cases and crafted a pilot program that would have cost only $1.7 million to implement but could have provided more than $410 million worth of benefits to homeowners, according to internal company documents cited by two House Democrats.
August 6, 2013 |
PHOENIX - President Obama on Tuesday got behind a bipartisan push to replace housing finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with a new government approach to mortgage guarantees, criticizing a system that let bailed-out firms profit while taxpayers covered their bad bets. "As home prices rise, we can't just re-inflate another housing bubble," Obama told a crowd in Phoenix, a city hit hard by the housing crisis five years ago. Congress should invest in the recovery of the housing market, he said, while also working to "lay a rock-solid foundation to make sure the kind of crisis we went through never happens again.
September 12, 2008
Nothing brings out the populist streak in American politicians quite like a multimillion-dollar golden parachute for a failed executive. So it wasn't surprising when lawmakers broke out the pitchforks and flaming torches after learning that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were making rich severance payments to their ousted chief executives. According to compensation consultant David Schmidt of James F. Reda & Associates, ex-Fannie chief Daniel Mudd stands to collect $6 million to $8 million, and ex-Freddie chief Richard Syron more than $15 million.
March 29, 2011 |
Lenders would have to originate mortgages with at least a 20% down payment if they want to repackage the loan to sell to other investors without keeping some of the risk on their books, according to a proposal that U.S. bank regulators endorsed Tuesday. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. board and the Federal Reserve agreed to seek public comment on the proposal, which is intended to restore lending discipline and define the safest form of mortgages that can be completely resold to other investors.
February 28, 2011 |
Almost three years after a series of government bailouts began, what many feared would be a deep black hole for taxpayer money isn't looking nearly so dark. The brighter picture is highlighted by the outlook for the bailouts' centerpiece ? the $700-billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. "It's turning out to cost one heck of a lot less than what we all thought at the beginning," said Ted Kaufman, a former U.S. senator from Delaware who heads the congressionally appointed panel overseeing TARP.
September 2, 2011 |
In the latest government effort to recoup mortgage meltdown losses, the federal regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac sued 17 banks over mortgage bonds that were sold to the giant home-finance companies during the housing boom and proved to be toxic. The lawsuits, filed late Friday in New York federal and state courts and Connecticut federal court, for the most part accused the banks of negligence in misrepresenting the risks embedded in securities backed by subprime mortgages and other risky loans.
August 18, 2010 |
With sweeping financial reform legislation enacted, the White House and Congress now must focus on fixing the mess created by the failed housing finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It's a complex challenge with high stakes for taxpayers and the struggling real estate market. On Tuesday, key administration officials conferred with about 200 industry executives, affordable housing advocates and other experts about the role the government should play in the nation's housing finance system.