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    The Four Key Things Every Taxpayer Needs to Know About Fannie and Freddie

    Five years ago, Congress used nearly $200 billion to bail out the housing finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These companies are still operating under the direct control of the federal government, and taxpayers are underwriting an even larger share of mortgages now than in 2008. Here are four … More

    Will the Federal Housing Finance Agency Forgive Borrowers’ Debts?

    Today Representative Mel Watt (D–NC) assumes his position as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which manages the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Acting director (since 2009) Ed DeMarco’s departure could mark just the beginning of several key policy shifts at the FHFA, such as … More

    GSE Reform: Housing Finance Experts on the Future of Fannie and Freddie

    Nearly five years after one of the largest federal government bailouts in American history and the enactment of a colossal federal regulatory law (Dodd–Frank), policy leaders still wrestle with the question: How to end government guarantees in the U.S. housing finance system? To address this issue, Heritage analysts John Ligon … More

    FHA: The Next Round of Housing Bailouts?

    Despite some efforts this year to improve its financial position, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will reportedly seek a bailout from the federal government to cover losses on mortgage loans it insures. The FHA will ask taxpayers for a $1.7 billion cash infusion (more than double estimates earlier in the … More

    Obama: End Fannie and Freddie, but Keep Government in Housing Business

    President Obama lent his voice today to the growing consensus in Washington that federally sponsored housing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must go. While this is a welcome stance, he also called for new government guarantees for the housing finance market, which would only perpetuate the dangerous taxpayer subsidy … More

    Bank Profits Soar as Washington Subsidies Flow

    Too often, government policies designed to ameliorate a general problem merely benefit a special interest. A case in point, highlighted by Binyamin Applebaum on the Economix blog, is the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). HARP is part of the complex federal effort to stabilize the home mortgage market and stem … More

    Mortgage Settlement Sounds Better for Homeowners Than It Is

    From the hype surrounding the newly announced $26 billion settlement over abusive foreclosure and mortgage servicing practices, one might think that it would single-handedly solve the housing crisis and end underwater mortgages. This is not the case. Like the many versions of President Obama’s refinancing plan, this settlement has large … More