The Real Deal Miami

Congressman probes Fannie, Freddie over costs

November 03, 2011 04:34PM

Texas Rep. Randy Neugebauer asked mortgage giant Fannie Mae to provide a breakdown of its administrative expenses in a letter yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported, and probed the Federal Housing Finance Agency about the cost of the government’s 2008 takeovers of Fannie and Freddie Mac, which so far have cost taxpayers $145 billion.

Neugebauer asked the FHFA to explain why salaries and employee benefits shot up to $842 million this year, from $735 million in 2009. “How do these contributions further the purpose of conservatorship?” he asked in the letter.

Some of the staff increases have come out of the expansion of foreclosure-prevention operations, Fannie said.

“The housing crisis has required us to ramp up in some areas while driving efficiency and cost savings in other areas,” said Amy Bonitatibus, a Fannie spokesperson. “We are committed to doing everything we can to create stability and deliver value to taxpayers.” [WSJ]