Government-Backed Lender Fannie Mae Lost $75 Billion Last Year, Wants $15 Billion More In Federal Support

By Lindsey Ellerson

Feb 26, 2010 6:23pm

ABC News' Matthew Jaffe reports: Government-backed mortgage lender Fannie Mae today asked for $15.3 billion in federal support after losing nearly $75 billion last year, according to a company statement released Friday. In the final three months of last year alone, Fannie Mae lost $16.3 billion, the company said. Today Fannie Mae asked the Treasury Department to provide the federal infusion before March 31. In four previous infusions, the government has provided the ailing lender with around $60 billion to date. Just before Christmas last year, Treasury essentially agreed to provide a blank check to Fannie Mae and fellow government-backed lender Freddie Mac, removing the cap for federal support. In a statement this evening, Fannie Mae CEO Mike Williams touted the support the company has provided to homeowners during the country’s economic downturn. “Our homeownership assistance initiatives grew significantly in 2009, reaching more than 3 million borrowers,” Williams said. “We continue to work closely with our industry partners and the government to reach every borrower we can and to address rising foreclosures. Our overriding objective is keeping people in their homes whenever possible.” Earlier this week Freddie Mac reported losing nearly $26 billion last year. Freddie Mac has received around $51 billion in taxpayer money. At a hearing on Wednesday featuring Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, blasted the federal support for the two government-sponsored enterprises, arguing that the United States had deteriorated into “a bailout nation where the big get bigger, the small get smaller, and the taxpayers get poorer.”

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