Industry NewsMortgage

FHFA probes subprime, Alt-A lending

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Federal regulators overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said today they will seek to recoup losses from companies that securitized "private-label" subprime and Alt-A mortgage-backed securities in cases where they discover misrepresentations and breaches of warranty.The Federal Housing Finance Agency said it has issued 64 subpoenas from unnamed companies to obtain loan documents that would shed light on whether such misrepresentations were made.FHFA said it's seeking the contents of loan files, including documents used in the underwriting process such as loan applications and property appraisals. The subpoenas are part of an ongoing inquiry, which may lead to additional subpoenas. Fannie and Freddie are generally considered to have been minor players in the subprime and Alt-A markets -- together, they own or guarantee $5.5 trillion in mortgages, of which about $255 billion are private-label MBS. But those investments have accounted for a disproportionate share of the companie...