Fannie Mae has announced that it is delaying the usual early release of its third-quarter earnings but "will actively seek" to file the report by the Securities and Exchange Commission's Nov. 15 filing deadline.The SEC has been conducting an informal review of the mortgage giant's accounting practices for several months. The Washington Post is reporting that the SEC has upgraded the inquiry to a formal investigation. An SEC spokesman declined to comment on the report. Fannie's regulator, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, recently released an interim report that alleges that Fannie executives disregarded accounting rules and managed earnings. Fannie Mae chairman and chief executive Franklin Raines told a House panel Oct. 6 that the controversy is an accounting dispute that will ultimately be resolved by the SEC. Last year, Fannie Mae announced its third-quarter earnings on Oct. 16.

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