Freddie Mac’s second-quarter net income fell 45 percent to $764 million, the company said today, blaming much of the decline on higher provisions for credit losses.

Provisions for credit losses and real estate-owned operations expenses were $336 million during the second quarter, compared with $63 million during the same quarter a year ago, the company said. The increase was attributed to higher foreclosure rates on loans originated in 2006 and 2007, and higher unpaid principal balances as a result of slower home-price appreciation.

Delinquency rates in Freddie’s portfolio were up two basis points from the previous quarter to 0.42 percent, with sharp increases in Florida (up 12 basis points to 0.47 percent) and California (up 5 basis points to 0.2 percent).

Also cutting into Freddie Mac’s second-quarter profits were $187 million in losses on credit guarantees, compared with $52 million in the same quarter a year ago. Freddie also reported $205 million in losses on loans purchased, compared with $21 million in the second quarter of 2006, due to an increase in the volume of nonperforming loan purchases.

Freddie’s total credit guarantee portfolio increased at an annualized rate of 15 percent during the quarter, to about $1.6 trillion. That’s more than twice as fast as the 6 percent projected annual growth in total U.S. residential mortgage debt, the company said.

About 80 percent of loans in Freddie Mac’s mortgage portfolio were fixed-rate, while another 11 percent were adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), 8 percent were interest-only, and 1 percent were payment-option ARM loans. Only 4 percent of borrowers in Freddie’s single-family loan portfolio had FICO scores below 620 — one commonly used definition of “subprime” — and 85 percent of loans had loan-to-value ratios of less than 80 percent.

While some lawmakers are pushing for an expanded role for government-sponsored mortgage repurchasers Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, federal regulators and the Bush administration have been reluctant to go along, saying the companies are still recovering from management and accounting scandals that caused each to restate several years of earnings.

Freddie Mac said remediation of “material weaknesses” and “significant deficiencies” in the company’s financial reporting process “continues to be a top corporate priority in 2007” as the company returns to timely quarterly financial reporting.

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