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U.S. Bank Pays $53 Million to Freddie Mac for Soured Mortgages

easternmorningherald.com | December 13, 2013

By Elizabeth Atkins

U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) announced this week that it will be settling to the tune of $53 million, as part of an agreement to pay Freddie Mac for mortgage loans gone sour during the global economic recession.

The $53 million settlement covers mortgage loans that were sold to Freddie Mac between 2000 and 2008, or in the years ahead of the global recession, which took place as the U.S. housing market crashed. U.S. Bank said that it will pay Freddie Mac from funds it has in reserve.

Freddie Mac purchases mortgages from financial institutions and sells them to investors as repackaged mortgage-backed securities, but would typically ask the banks to buy the mortgages back should they fail to live up to its quality requirements.

The U.S. Bank settlement makes it the latest financial institution to settle with Freddie Mac, following Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFM), which agreed to settle with Freddie Mac on September 27. The San Francisco, Calif.-based Wells Fargo agreed to pay $869 million to relieve culpability for loans made to Freddie before January 1, 2009. These loans included about $6.7 million sold to Freddie between 2000 and 2009.

Other banks that had agreed to settle with Freddie Mac around that time included Citigroup, Inc. (NYSE: C), which settled to the tune of $395 million, and SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI), which agreed to pay $65 million to Freddie Mac.

“With these settlements, Freddie Mac is recouping funds effectively due to the nation’s taxpayers,” said Freddie Mac Chief Executive Donald H. Layton in a statement made after the earlier settlements were announced. “We believe these settlements are equitable, and we are pleased to have resolved legacy repurchase issues with three of our valued customers.”

 

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