As Fannie and Freddie boost earnings, critics say their fees are excessive and damaging

Julie C. Nichols General

The Washington Post – Kenneth R. Harney

When you’re raking in tens of billions in profits by helping credit-elite borrowers purchase homes, couldn’t you lighten up on fees a little for everyday folks who would also like to buy?

That’s a question increasingly being posed to government-controlled home mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and their federal regulators. Though most buyers are unaware of the practice, Fannie and Freddie — by far the largest sources of mortgage money in the country — continue to charge punitive, recession-era fees that can add thousands of dollars to consumers’ financing costs. This is despite the fact that the companies are enjoying record profits, low delinquency rates and rising home values; on top of that, the companies are protecting themselves from most losses with insurance policies paid for by consumers.

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