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Executive Perspectives Blog

Thanks to tips from the public and our employees, Freddie Mac launches more mortgage fraud investigations, solves more fraud cases, and protects borrowers by stopping offenders from doing future harm. Like the detectives on TV crime shows, our fraud investigators turn tips into a steady sequence of events that include tracking down leads, interviewing victims, gathering evidence, and working with law enforcement to nab the right suspects. But real-world fraud investigations take much longer than a TV episode. The sooner we receive a good tip, the faster we can “stop the bleeding,” as investigators say.

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SVP Tracy Mooney

HARP: Dispelling the Myths

Potentially millions of homeowners could refinance through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) today and begin saving money each month. But many homeowners are still sitting on the sidelines, even after significant enhancements to the program and more than 2.9 million success stories.

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One reason community based lenders are known for delivering quality service is because they are deeply rooted in the markets they serve and often know their customers on a first-name basis. Maintaining this legacy in the new world we live in requires community based lenders to adapt to new regulations, technologies, and customer demands despite having smaller staff and fewer resources than their bigger competitors.

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As we look forward to 2014, we see reasons to be optimistic about the economy. Led by a resurgent housing sector, 2014 should shape up to be better than 2013, with consensus forecasts placing economic growth in the 2.5 to 3.0 percent range, more than 0.5 percentage points better than is expected for 2013. A quickening in the recovery pace will also lead to more job creation and should push the unemployment rate below 7 percent, perhaps by mid-2014. We expect single-family home sales and housing starts to be at the highest level since 2007, and expect multifamily transactions and construction to post gains as well. Despite rising mortgage rates and continued property-value appreciation, housing will remain generally affordable in most parts of the country. With household formations expected to pick up and new home completions gaining more slowly, for-sale inventories may remain tight and vacancies low next year.

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In the debate about the future of housing finance, one thing most parties agree on is the need to reduce the taxpayers’ role in the market. We are leaders in developing and introducing to the market innovative ways to attract new sources of capital, and thereby transfer a portion of our residential mortgage credit risk exposure away from taxpayers and to private firms like banks, insurance companies, and mutual funds. This is not only good for taxpayers, but we think it makes good business sense and have made risk-sharing transactions a part of our business strategy.

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Our Executive Perspectives feature insights from company leaders on key trends in housing finance and how Freddie Mac is supporting the nation's housing recovery.

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