NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Taxpayers' Bill on Freddie, Fannie Foreclosures: $2B

November 10, 2010

Taxpayer-funded Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have spent more than $2 billion this year on foreclosed property expenses after acquiring tens of thousands of homes through foreclosures, says USA Today.

  • The mortgage giants owned more than 240,000 foreclosed homes on September 30, they reported last week.
  • That's about 25 percent of all lender-owned homes in the United States, according to RealtyTrac.

Fannie and Freddie, which buy mortgages from lenders and package them into securities to sell to investors, own or guarantee half of all U.S. mortgages.  Together, they have more than twice as many foreclosed homes now as they did this time last year, with a combined value of $24 billion.

  • The U.S. Treasury has invested $148 billion in preferred stock in Fannie and Freddie -- and received almost $17 billion in dividends -- since taking them over two years ago.
  • Their losses have narrowed, but further Treasury investments are expected.
  • Excluding dividends, the government's cumulative cost could range from $142 billion to $259 billion by December 2013, estimates their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

The longer foreclosed homes stay on their books, the larger taxpayers' expenses will be, says USA Today.

  • As of September 30, Freddie Mac owned 74,897 foreclosed single-family homes, up 82 percent from a year ago, according to its third-quarter financial report.
  • From January through September, Freddie spent $842 million -- vs. $480 million in the same time last year -- on properties acquired in foreclosures.
  • Fannie owned 166,787 foreclosed single-family homes on September 30.
  • Its foreclosed property expenses approached $1.3 billion from January through September.

Source: Julie Schmit and Stephanie Armour, "Taxpayers' Bill on Freddie, Fannie Foreclosures: $2B," USA Today, November 8, 2010.

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