March 4, 2011 (Shirley Allen)
Someone forgot to tell government mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae that they are suppose to be going out of business because the latest monthly figures show that both GSE’s continued to back new mortgages in January at about the same rate as last year.

Freddie Mac reported that it backed nearly $38.9 billion in new loans in January, up from $36.6 billion in January 2010, but down considerable from $49.7 billion in December 2010. Fannie Mae reported a slight decrease in portfolio commitments on a year-to-year basis, to $51.7 billion new loans, down from $53.6 billion in January 2010.

Freddie Mac’s overall mortgage portfolio shrank by 7.3 percent in January which is close to the 10 percent annual rate that has been targeted for winding down the two government lenders, but over the last 12 months, the portfolio has only shrunk 4.3 percent.

By comparison, Fannie Mae showed a 1.1 percent reduction in its portfolio in January compared to December and a decline of only 0.2 percent over the last 12 months.

The Obama Administration and Congress plan on closing down the two lenders due to severe losses in sub-prime mortgages suffered after the housing bubble burst. Both were acquired by the government to prevent their collapse at great cost to taxpayers.

Mortgage delinquencies for both lenders have shown steady declines over the past year with Freddie Mac reporting that 3.82 percent of its outstanding loans were delinquent in January, down from 4.12 percent a year earlier, and Fannie Mae reports that 4.48 percent of its loans were delinquent in December, down from 5.38 percent in December of 2009.

Tags: Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, new mortgages, new loans, portfolio, government lenders, housing bubble, delinquencies