The New York Times rambles, and mangles mortgages along the way

The New York Times rambles, and mangles mortgages along the way

Mortgage finance and mortgage regulation aren’t the paper’s strong suits

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Fannie Mae reports 3Q loss of $5.1 billion, asks for $7.8 billion

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Fannie Mae reported a loss of nearly $5.1 billion for the third quarter and asked the federal government for another $7.8 billion. The mortgage finance giant said the loss for the three months ended Sept. 30 includes $4.9 billion of credit-related costs mostly due to its legacy, or pre-2009, book of business, and $4.5 billion of fair-value losses mainly attributable to losses on risk-management derivatives from declines in swap interest rates during the quarter. The government put Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into conservatorship in 2008 and the companies have received more than $169 billion in federal bailouts, so far. President and CEO Michael Williams said the company's third-quarter results were "significantly affected by continued weakness in the housing market and overall economy." Fannie Mae reported a total comprehensive loss of $5.28 billion for the third quarter and paid $2.5 billion in preferred dividends to the Treasury Department during the quarter. Therefore, the company reported a net worth deficit of $7.8 billion at Sept. 30, and asked for as much to eliminate the deficit. Including the most-recent request, Fannie Mae still owes the government another $11.3 billion and its total obligation to the Treasury will be $112.6 billion. For the year-ago third quarter, Fannie Mae reported a loss of $1.34 billion. Write to Jason Philyaw. Follow him on Twitter: @jrphilyaw.

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