Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac To Expand Loan Portfolios

Washington, D.C.–The regulatory agency that oversees government-backed mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac approved expanding their loan portfolios on Wednesday, the Financial Times reports.Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s mortgage portfolio lending caps had been imposed by their regulator, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, after previous accounting mishaps. However, now both of their financial statements are current, so the OFHE said it would remove the limits on March 1.However, the regulator said it would maintain a 30 percent regulatory capital surcharge for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which caused investor concern that their ability to buy mortgages could be limited. Fannie Mae also recently announced a $3.6 billion fourth quarter loss and $2.05 billion loss for the year, prompting concern about the company’s ability to assist the damaged housing sector.