Fannie, Freddie in the Home-Selling Business

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac repossessed more than 191,000 homes during the first six months of 2010, twice as many as a year earlier.

The mortgage financiers must act carefully to avoid flooding the market with foreclosures, which tend to depress neighborhood home prices in the process.

As an alternative, Fannie Mae has launched a pilot “lease-and-hold” program in which foreclosures are rented rather than sold; the move could pose challenges, however, as the firm takes on the new role of property manager.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Nick Timiraos (09/17/10)