HOUSTON (CN) — Shareholders have sued the Department of the Treasury and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, claiming their $195 billion “net worth sweep” of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2012 illegally sent all their dividends to the U.S. Treasury rather than shareholders.
The Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), and The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), are government-sponsored private companies that own or guarantee trillions of dollars in U.S. home loans. They buy home loans from banks, freeing up the banks to issue more home loans.
After the financial crisis began in late 2007, as the value of securitized home loans collapsed, Congress in July 2008 passed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, under which Fannie and Freddie received a $188 billion government bailout.
The Act also created the Federal Housing Finance Agency and authorized it to appoint itself conservator of the companies, which it did in September 2008.
Lead plaintiff J. Patrick Collins a Freddie Mac stockholder, filed the lawsuit on Oct. 20 in Federal Court.
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