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Fannie’s Losses Widen, Prompting Request for More Federal Funding

""Fannie Mae"":http://www.fanniemae.com says it needs another $15.3 billion bailout from the U.S. Treasury, after the GSE came up $16.3 billion in the red for the fourth quarter of 2009 and posted a loss of $74.4 billion for all of last year.


Although the housing crisis is showing signs of lessening in some major markets, it continues to take its toll on the nation's largest mortgage financier. Fannie Mae's 2009 annual losses widened compared to the $59.8 billion deficit recorded for 2008, and its Q4 results marked the GSE's tenth consecutive quarterly shortfall.

Since the government stepped in to take over the faltering mortgage giant in September 2008, Fannie has drawn a total of $59.9 billion in taxpayer dollars from the Treasury to stay afloat â€" that amount doesn't include the more than $16 billion the company's now asked to add to its tab. Fannie Mae’s supervisor, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), has requested Treasury provide the additional funding by March 31, 2010.

According to the ""GSE’s latest financial report,"":http://www.fanniemae.com/media/pdf/newsreleases/form10k_newsrelease_022610.pdf;jsessionid=OILZYLT5BXGVLJ2FQSISFGQ a staggering increase in mortgage defaults continues to threaten its financial stability. Fannie said 5.38 percent of its single-family loans were at least 90 days past due at the end of last year, up from 2.42 percent the previous year. Nonperforming loans within the firm’s portfolio totaled $216.5 billion at year-end, compared with $198.3 billion in the prior quarter and $119.2 billion in 2008.

The GSE did point to one bright spot in its delinquency figures, however. Fannie noted that the number of loans turning seriously delinquent stabilized in Q4. The


company also said its loss severities, which represent the unpaid principal balances of loans that the GSE believes will not be recovered, improved in the fourth quarter due to stabilizing home prices.

In addition, Fannie Mae said while it expects credit-related expenses to remain high in the near term due to high unemployment and negative equity prompting many borrowers to default, the company predicts that credit-related expenses in 2010 will be lower than in 2009.

On Friday, Fannie Mae announced a new ""Loan Quality Initiative"":https://www.efanniemae.com/sf/lqi/index.jsp to further improve the performance of its portfolio by ensuring lenders are adhering to its underwriting guidelines. The GSE said the effort was prompted by an “extensive analysis” of the reasons behind a steady increase in loan buybacks by its lenders over the last three years. Fannie Mae plans to roll out new quality-control guidelines over the next few months, and says the policy enhancements are designed “to stand the test of time across market cycles” and will reduce risk for both investors and lenders.

Fannie Mae says it is also working to minimize its credit losses by helping borrowers avoid foreclosure. During 2009, the company completed 200,339 loan workouts and initiated 333,300 trial modifications under the administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). The GSE also acquired or guaranteed approximately 2,484,000 loans last year that allowed homeowners’ to refinance into a more affordable mortgage.

Last week, Fannie Mae’s sibling government-controlled mortgage company, ""Freddie Mac, announced"":http://dsnews.comarticles/freddie-mac-reports-78b-loss-for-q4-2010-02-24 that it lost $25.7 billion during the 2009 fiscal year, but Freddie said it does not need any money from the Treasury at this time.

The government’s plan for the GSEs is still unknown, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says not to expect a new blueprint for the two mortgage companies until 2011. Members of the House are criticizing the administration for the delay, and are urging their Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to hold a public hearing to investigate the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.

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