Sunday, March 25, 2012

ProPublica: Fannie and Freddie Principal Writedowns

by Bill McBride on 3/25/2012 08:42:00 AM

From ProPublica: Fannie and Freddie: Slashing Mortgages Is Good Business

New analyses by mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have added an explosive new dimension to one of the most politically charged debates about the housing crisis: Whether to reduce the amount of money beleaguered homeowners owe on their mortgages.

Their conclusion: Such loan forgiveness wouldn’t just help keep hundreds of thousands of families in their homes, it would also save Freddie and Fannie money. That, in turn, would help taxpayers, who bailed out the companies at a cost of more than $150 billion and are still on the hook for future losses.

The analyses, which have not been made public, were recently presented to the agency that controls the companies, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, according to two people familiar with the matter. Freddie Mac’s meeting with the FHFA took place last week.
ProPublica added an update:
[F]ollowing the publication of this story by ProPublica and NPR, lawmakers called on the Federal Housing Finance Administration to provide Congress with the new analyses on principal reductions by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Hopefully this will be made public, and this might lead to more principal reductions.

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