The cost of fixing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage companies that last year bought or guaranteed three-quarters of all US home loans, will be at least $160bn and could grow to as much as $1trn after the biggest bailout in American history. Fannie and Freddie, now 80% owned by US taxpayers, already have drawn $145bn from an unlimited line of government credit granted to ensure that home buyers can get loans while the private housing-finance industry is moribund.
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Quicken Loans has become the largest mortgage lender in the country over the last few years due in large part to the growth of Rocket Mortgage, the company’s digital mortgage platform. As it turns out, Rocket Mortgage is becoming so big that it’s now consuming other parts of the Quicken Loans family of companies too, namely the company’s reverse mortgage lender.
U.S. home prices increased 5.1% in the fourth quarter from a year ago, matching the pace of the prior quarter, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.