At the end of September, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae owned 240,000 homes that were taken back in foreclosure. That's about 25% of all lender-owned homes in the US.
As the new owners, Freddie and Fannie are responsible to pay the taxes, insurance, cleaning, maintenance, even lawn care. The cost to maintain these homes so far this year? $2 billion.
And where does the money come from to pay these bills? From you - the US taxpayer.
Since taking them over 2 years ago, we've already invested $148 billion in preferred stock in Freddie and Fannie. We've received about $17 billion in dividends. But the longer the real estate crises continues, the more money we'll need to invest to keep them afloat. And with the recent questions about the legality of some of the foreclosures, this could drag on a long time.