WASHINGTON (AP) - Mortgage giant Freddie Mac earned $4.5 billion from October through December, its fifth straight profitable quarter. The government-controlled company credited fewer delinquencies on home loans and rising home prices for the gains. Freddie says it paid a dividend of $1.8 billion to the U.S. Treasury and requested no additional federal aid.
The earnings compared with net income of $619 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. The government rescued Freddie and larger sibling Fannie Mae during the financial crisis. Taxpayers have spent about $170 billion to rescue Freddie and larger sibling Fannie Mae, the costliest bailout of the crisis. Under a federal policy adopted last summer, Fannie and Freddie must turn over their quarterly profits to the government. The change was made to ensure they pay the government back.