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Citi settled Fannie-Freddie suit for $250M

Citigroup Inc.'s payout last year to taxpayer-owned Fannie

Citigroup Inc.'s payout last year to taxpayer-owned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was revealed Thursday to be $250 million, in settling a lawsuit over soured mortgage securities. (April 11, 2007) Credit: Getty Images

Citigroup Inc. paid $250 million to taxpayer-owned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to settle a lawsuit over soured mortgage securities, the regulator of the two housing finance firms said Thursday.

General Electric Co. also paid $6.25 million to settle a similar suit, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said in a statement.

Ally Financial Inc., the former parent of bankrupt Residential Capital LLC, paid $475 million.

Citi, GE and Ally had previously settled the claims in 2013, but none had disclosed the financial terms.

The banks are among 18 financial institutions that were sued in 2011 for allegedly misleading Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the biggest providers of housing finance in the United States, into buying more than $200 billion in mortgage-backed securities.

Six institutions have since settled the accusations. GE and Citi were the first two to resolve the claims in early 2013, but the FHFA kept the terms confidential as they negotiated additional settlements.

In October, JPMorgan agreed to pay $4 billion to resolve its lawsuit, and in December, Deutsche Bank entered a $1.9-billion accord with the agency.

A seventh bank, Wells Fargo, which the FHFA never formally sued, also paid $335 million in November to resolve similar claims.

In total, the United States has recouped nearly $8 billion through the settlements, the housing regulator said. The lawsuits accused the firms of violating securities laws and in some cases committing fraud.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which currently back about half of existing U.S. home loans, were seized by the government in 2008 as mortgage losses mounted.

They have received $187.5 billion in taxpayer funds to stay afloat, while paying about $185.2 billion in dividends to the government for that support.-- Reuters

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