Taxpayers May Still Be Forced To Bail Out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Billions still at stake


ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Five years after the housing collapse of 2008, the government's role in the mortgage market could still have taxpayers on the hook for another multibillion-dollar rescue of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency took over both government-sponsored enterprises in 2008 to ensure their solvency in the wake of the housing crisis. FHFA managed their finances and portfolios through a massive taxpayer bailout totaling $187 billion.

WARNING: Government-backed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been in conservatorship since July 2008. Some economists worry another economic downtown would lead to a massive bailout of the pair. (AP photo)

But in more than four years of financial oversight by the FHFA — known as conservatorship — there has been little talk of reforming Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae by either shuttering them, converting them to private companies or allowing them to remain government-backed enterprises with modest reforms.