Pushing Fannie Mae into its position as one of the least profitable corporations in the U.S. is the need to maintain the more than 150,000 foreclosed homes on its books.NPR crunched some hypothetical numbers on the cost of basic lawn care and came up with $36.7 million to mow 75,000 lawns, twice a month for six months.
This is just a sliver of the total $86 billion tab Fannie Mae has submitted to the American taxpayer since 2008 when it was taken over by the government.
In just the first quarter of this year, Fannie racked up $488 million in foreclosure-related expenses, including holding costs (insurance, taxes and maintenance); valuation adjustments for changes in market value; gains/loss when the property is sold; legal fees; eviction costs; weatherization costs to prevent the pipes from bursting; costs to secure the property; and repair costs.
In 2010 Fannie Mae conducted repairs on 87,000 of their foreclosed homes.
A necessary cost according to Guy Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance, who told NPR:
“”It makes them — I think — indisputably the largest purchaser of paint and general appliances for these homes they’re fixing up … If they don’t maintain the houses, then the neighborhoods go downhill, other people are put at risk and the housing crisis gets worse because you have still more downward pressure on overall house prices.”
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