Freddie Mac Asks Taxpayers for Another $500M

Mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac on Thursday asked for an additional $500 million in taxpayer aid after reporting its sixth straight quarterly loss.

The second-largest U.S. residential mortgage funds provider reported a loss of $113 million in the fourth quarter, a tiny fraction of the double-digit billions the firm lost in the quarters immediately after the government seized it more than two years ago.

Including the latest request, Freddie Mac will have received more than $64 billion in direct aid from the government. The fourth-quarter loss, about $0.53 per share, includes a $1.6 billion dividend payment the company paid to the government.

The U.S. Treasury took control of Freddie Mac and its larger sister entity, Fannie Mae, at the height of the financial crisis in September 2008 as losses mounted from mortgages gone bad.

The plan to put them into conservatorship was meant to be temporary, although it is likely to be years before a long-term replacement structure takes shape.