Freddie Mac reports $4 billion loss

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Freddie Mac reported a $4.1 billion loss for the third quarter as the U.S. housing market remained weak.

The McLean-based mortgage giant also asked the U.S. Treasury for $100 million to keep its positive net worth.

The mortgage giant’s loss included a $1.6 billion dividend payment on preferred stock purchased by the U.S. Treasury. Freddie Mac, which is based in McLean, and Fannie Mae were placed into government conservatorship in September 2008 over concerns of their solvency.

“As we near the end of 2010, the housing market remains fragile, and has recently come under renewed pressure from slowing economic growth, weaker employment and foreclosure uncertainties,” Freddie Mac CEO Charles Haldeman Jr. said in a statement. “We believe that it will be a considerable time until the housing market has a sustained recovery.”

Freddie Mac narrowed its third-quarter loss from a year ago. The $4.1 billion loss, or $1.25 per share, compares with a loss of $6.7 billion, or $2.06 per share, in the third quarter of 2009.

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