The Federal Housing Finance Agency selected the winning bidders in its Fannie Mae REO pilot initiative.

The FHFA will release the names of the successful bidders when the deals close, expected early in the third quarter. The FHFA announced the program was wrapping up in May.

Potential investors were heavily vetted before bidding and the FHFA said market interest in the 2,500 REO properties was strong.

“FHFA undertook this initiative to help stabilize communities and home values in areas hard-hit by the foreclosure crisis,” said Edward DeMarco, acting director of FHFA, in a statement.

“As conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, we believe this pilot program will assist us in achieving our objectives and help to maximize the benefit to taxpayers," he added. "We are pleased with the response from the market and look forward to closing transactions in the near future.”

The REO initiative was developed in conjunction with the Treasury, the Housing and Urban Development department, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Federal Reserve, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The initiative began after review of more than 4,000 responses to a request for information on how to sell REO properties of Fannie, Freddie and the Federal Housing Administration.