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Business Digest: Mortgage delinquencies up at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

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Saturday, January 9, 2010

MORTGAGE FINANCING

Delinquencies up at Fannie and Freddie

Delinquent home loans at government-controlled mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac surged 20 percent from July through September, according to a new report by the companies' regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Almost 1.6 million borrowers had not made their mortgage payments for at least two months. That's about 5.18 percent of all borrowers. Year over year, the number of delinquencies more than doubled.

The regulator said the rates were increasing in part because of "continued deterioration" in the companies' businesses "as home price and economic conditions remain challenging."

But it also said that District-based Fannie and McLean-based Freddie are taking steps to delay foreclosures, which may prolong payments as borrowers try to use government programs meant to make it easier to adjust the terms of their loans.

-- Zachary Goldfarb

ALSO IN BUSINESS:

-- Consumer borrowing falls sharply: Americans borrowed less for a 10th consecutive month in November, with total credit and borrowing on credit cards falling by the largest amounts on records going back nearly seven decades.


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