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White House wants $1 billion put in affordable housing fund

By Margaret Chadbourn WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama proposed spending $1 billion next year for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to fund a federal affordable housing trust fund established by Congress six years ago, according to the 2015 White House budget. The fund was originally mandated to be capitalized by government-run Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. If given budget authority, it would be the first contribution to the National Housing Trust Fund that was set up in 2008.

Obama administration says housing agency won't need Treasury aid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Housing Administration, which turned to the Treasury for aid in 2013, will avoid that fate this year due to efforts to shore up its finances, the White House predicted in its budget proposal on Tuesday. Last year, White House budget writers said the FHA, which is a major provider of mortgages for first-time homebuyers, would need a $943 million Treasury subsidy, but the agency ended up drawing $1.7 billion when the fiscal year closed on September 30.

Investor Fairholme wants governance actions at Fannie, Freddie

(Reuters) - Fairholme Capital Management has sent letters to the boards of U.S. government-controlled Fannie Mae <FNMA.OB> and Freddie Mac <FMCC.OB> seeking corporate governance actions, in a push to let investors have a bigger say in how the companies are run. Fairholme, founded by fund manager Bruce Berkowitz, wants the mortgage companies to stop borrowing funds to pay dividends to the U.S. government, preserve its non-cash assets and establish procedures to address conflicts.

Societe Generale to pay $122 million to resolve U.S. mortgage lawsuit

By Nate Raymond and Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - Societe Generale has agreed to pay $122 million to settle a lawsuit by a U.S. regulator accusing the bank of misleading Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the purchase of mortgage-backed securities. The settlement, announced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) on Thursday, marked the eighth to date by the FHFA, which in 2011 filed 18 lawsuits over some $200 billion in mortgage-backed securities that were at the heart of the 2008 financial crisis.

Freddie Mac reimburses US bailout on huge profit jump

Freddie Mac Thursday said its payments to the US Treasury have exceeded its 2008 US bailout funds as the US mortgage-finance giant notched a huge jump in earnings. But Freddie signaled that its meteoric earnings growth, a more than four-fold increase annually, is "not sustainable" long term, in part because of slowing home price gains.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac posts $8.6B profit in 4Q as home prices rose; paying $10.4B to US

WASHINGTON - Mortgage giant Freddie Mac posted net income of $8.6 billion for the October through December period, its ninth straight profitable quarter. Earnings were boosted by the continued rise in home prices, which reduced the amounts the company had to set aside to cover losses on mortgages. Freddie's fourth-quarter profit reported Thursday nearly doubled from $4.5 billion in the last three months of 2012.

Freddie Mac posts record profit, to surpass $71.3 billion bailout

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Freddie Mac <FMCC.OB> said on Thursday it will soon send the U.S. Treasury a $10.4 billion dividend after posting a ninth straight quarterly profit, putting taxpayers further into the black on their bailout of the mortgage giant. When it makes the payment next month, Freddie Mac will have paid about $81.8 billion in dividends, more than the $71.3 billion it received from the Treasury when it was bailed out during the financial crisis.

Korea unveils steps for improving household debt structure

SEOUL, Feb. 27 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's financial regulator on Thursday unveiled a set of measures to tackle household debt problems in a hope to mend the overall debt structure. The Financial Services Commission (FSC) said that it plans to push local banks to increase the portion of loans with fixed interest rates and to induce households into repaying the principal and interest together. The regulator hopes to raise the portion of both fixed-rate loans and principal-interest repayments to 40 percent by end-2017.

Banks' loan delinquency ratio rises in January

SEOUL, Feb. 27 (Yonhap) -- The delinquency ratio on loans by South Korean banks edged up in January as more loans turned sour than in the previous month, the financial watchdog said Thursday. The combined delinquency ratio of bank loans stood at 0.98 percent at the end of January, up 0.09 percentage point from the previous month, according to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS). The rate is measured based on principals of loans overdue for more than one day.

Banks' loan delinquency ratio rises in January

SEOUL, Feb. 27 (Yonhap) -- The delinquency ratio on loans by South Korean banks edged up in January as more loans turned sour than in the previous month, the financial watchdog said Thursday. The combined delinquency ratio of bank loans stood at 0.98 percent at the end of January, up 0.09 percentage point from the previous month, according to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS). The rate is measured based on principals of loans overdue for more than one day.
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