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Worst Case Fannie, Freddie Aid May Be $363 Billion

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage-finance companies operating under U.S. conservatorship, could draw a total of $363 billion in Treasury Department aid through 2013 if the housing market worsens, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said.

The FHFA, which oversees the government-sponsored entities, offered the estimate today as the worst-case in an analysis modeled on the stress tests conducted on the nation’s biggest banks last year. The actual total cost to taxpayers under the regulator’s most dire scenario would be $259 billion, because almost 30 percent of the funds would come back to Treasury as dividend payments on its holdings of senior preferred stock.