Thursday, February 28, 2008
Freddie Mac Q4
--Freddie Mac, the second-largestsource of money for U.S. home loans, posted a record $2.45billion loss for the fourth quarter as rising mortgage defaultssent credit costs soaring. The net loss, which amounted to $3.97 a share, widened from$401 million, or 73 cents, a year earlier, the McLean, Virginia-based company said in a statement distributed by PRNewswiretoday. --Government-chartered Freddie Mac and the larger Fannie Mae,which account for 45 percent of the $11.5 trillion residentialhome loan market, are posting their biggest-ever losses as homeforeclosures and tumbling housing prices increase costs on themortgages they buy and guarantee. Chief Economist Frank Nothafttold investors in London yesterday that home prices will slidethrough 2009 and a recession is more likely. --Freddie Mac warned investors in December that fourth-quarter losses would resemble the record, third-quarter net lossof $2.02 billion as the company's default rate rose to as highas 3.5 percent, or the worst since 1991. --Bank seizures of U.S. homes almost rose 90 percent to45,327 last month from the same period a year ago, according toRealtyTrac Inc., a seller of foreclosure statistics that has adatabase of more than 1 million properties. Total foreclosure filings, which include default and auction notices as well asbank seizures, increased 57 percent. More than 233,000 properties were in some stage of default last month, RealtyTracsaid in a statement yesterday.