Fannie Mae reports $6.5B loss for fourth-quarter 2017

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Fannie Mae Seeks Bailout After Posting $6.5 Billion in Quarterly Losses Flickr 401K 2012

Fannie Mae will need taxpayer money again after reporting a fourth quarter net loss of $6.5 billion, according to multiple reports.

Fannie Mae had warned in its third-quarter 10-Q that "if legislation significantly lowering the USA corporate income tax rate is enacted, we expect to incur a significant net loss and net worth deficit". Fannie Mae said on Friday it would soon send the U.S. Treasury $7.2 billion, a profit-related dividend that makes taxpayers whole for the 2008 bailout of the mortgage-finance giant and its sibling company Freddie Mac.

Additionally, Fannie Mae provided more than $67 billion in multifamily and other rental financing in 2017, the company said. Freddie Mac paid $11 billion to the exchequer in 2017.

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The original agreement struck after the 2008 housing crisis required Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to give their quarterly dividends to the U.S. Treasury until its capital reserves reached zero.

In a statement, Timothy J. Mayopoulos, president and CEO of Fannie Mae, says the company is financially stable and characterized the fourth quarter loss as a one-time accounting event from which it will quickly recover. The company insisted that its fourth quarter comprehensive income was $2.1 billion without the write-down.

The percentage of mortgages that it backs that were at least 90 days delinquent increased to 1.24 percent as of December 31, up from 1.01 percent on September 30.

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"The challenge is that additional draws of taxpayer support would reduce the amount of taxpayer backing available to the enterprises under the PSPAs and the foreseeable risk that the uncertainty associated with such draws or from the reduction in committed taxpayer backing could adversely impact the housing finance market", Watt said. That lower rate, estimated at 20 percent, is expected to benefit Fannie Mae in 2018, officials said in the Wednesday report.

Spokeswomen for the Treasury Department didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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