Freddie Mac Needs Up to $35 Billion More From U.S.

Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) — Freddie Mac, the mortgage-finance company under federal control, said it will ask the U.S. Treasury Department for as much as $35 billion more in aid.

Freddie, which took $13.8 billion from Treasury in November, said in a securities filing today that its fourth- quarter operating losses will again drive its net worth below zero. The company also said it settled a dispute over Washington Mutual loans with JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Treasury officials pledged up to $100 billion apiece to keep Freddie and Fannie Mae, the other government-sponsored enterprise, solvent. Aid is needed if the value of their assets drops below the amount they owe on their obligations. Fannie, which hasn’t drawn on that financing yet, said in November that it may have to after reporting results for the fourth quarter of 2008.

The settlement with JPMorgan, which took over WaMu’s assets after the thrift collapsed in September, will allow the New York-based bank to retain WaMu’s mortgage-servicing contracts, according to the filing.

In exchange, JPMorgan will assume WaMu’s obligations to repurchase any bad home loans that the thrift sold to Freddie with “recourse.” JPMorgan will make a “one-time” payment to cover other loans that WaMu would have been required to buy back because the mortgages failed to meet promises made to Freddie about their quality, the filing said.

The filing didn’t specify how much JPMorgan is paying Freddie.

Doug Duvall, a Freddie spokesman, declined to immediately comment on the terms of the settlement. Thomas Kelly, a JPMorgan spokesman, also declined to comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dawn Kopecki in Washington at dkopecki@bloomberg.net.

Last Updated: January 23, 2009 17:28 EST
By Dawn Kopecki and Jody Shenn

Source: Bloomberg

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