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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to Pay $10.2 Billion From Profits

MAY 8, 2014 9:07am ET
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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will pay the U.S. Treasury Department a combined $10.2 billion by June 30, an amount reflecting the profits the U.S.-owned mortgage financiers reported for the first quarter.

Washington-based Fannie Mae had net income of $5.3 billion for the three months ended March 31, according to a regulatory filing today. That included more than $4 billion from legal settlements relating to private-label securities sold to the company in the run-up to the credit crisis. Freddie Mac, based in McLean, Virginia, had earnings of $4 billion for the period.

The two companies, which have received $187.5 billion in taxpayer aid while under U.S. conservatorship, are required to pay the government all of their profits and aren't allowed to rebuild capital beyond a cushion of $2.4 billion each, an arrangement Fannie Mae Chief Executive Officer Timothy J. Mayopoulos called "challenging" on a conference call with reporters.

"The taxpayer remains in the first-loss position with respect to our business and as a result we are faced with running this business with really no cushion," Mayopoulos said.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were seized by regulators in September 2008, just before the failure of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., amid losses that pushed them toward collapse. The companies provide liquidity to the mortgage market by buying loans and packaging them into guaranteed securities.

The two companies will have sent a total of $213.1 billion back to the U.S. after their next payments. The amount counts as a return on the U.S. investment and not as an offset to the aid.

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