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Freddie Mac Mortgage Delinquencies End 3-Year Climb

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The single-family delinquency rate in the Freddie Mac (FRE) mortgage portfolio dropped for the first time in three years to 4.13%, down from 4.20% in February. Freddie changed the March 2010 delinquency report to include structured finances. The last time the single-family delinquency rate dropped on a monthly basis was in 2007. The delinquency rate in April of that year fell to 0.49% from 0.50% the month before. Despite the first monthly drop in three years, delinquencies still remain above the 2.41% rate in March 2009. The delinquency rate among multifamily mortgages inched down to 0.24% in March from 0.25% in February. Freddie’s sister, Fannie Mae (FNM) has yet to release its delinquency report, but in February, it reported a 5.52% rate. Delinquency rates improved across all vintages in both the 90-plus day and 120-plus day delinquency buckets. Freddie’s total mortgage portfolio decreased 9.1% in March to $2.22trn after dropping another 2.6% in February. Its refinance-loan purchase and guarantee volume reached 23.1bn in March, a 2.2% increase from $22.6bn the month before. At the end of March, Timothy Geithner, secretary of Treasury Department testified before Congress, stressing the need for reform and to remove “the umbrella of public protection” for Freddie and Fannie. Write to Jon Prior.

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