Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which back nearly half of the $11 trillion U.S. mortgage market, said late Wednesday that they would begin charging lenders the added fee next month.
“For the GSEs to add a 50 basis-point surcharge on refinances when the nation is struggling with the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression is outrageous,” he said in an interview, referring to Fannie and Freddie’s status as government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs. A representative for the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie and Freddie, said the companies requested the “adverse market fee.” It will apply to most refinanced mortgages delivered to the firms beginning Sept. 1. Fannie and Freddie buy mortgages from lenders, package them into securities that are sold to investors and provide guarantees to make the investors whole if the loan defaults. They don’t lend to homeowners.