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Housing agency could join lawsuit against Fannie, Freddie

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has until July 8 to petition to be added as a defendant in Milwaukee County’s lawsuit against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The FHFA is Fannie and Freddie’s conservator, meaning it was appointed to oversee the two entities and run their operations. Milwaukee County sued Fannie and Freddie in July, alleging the two entities illegally avoided paying real estate transfer taxes. Transfer taxes are assessed at $3 for every $1,000 of a property’s value and are paid by the seller. Fannie and Freddie could owe Milwaukee County as much as an estimated $1 million.

The FHFA moved to intervene in November, but U.S. District Judge Charles Clevert did not issue an opinion until June 26. He ruled the FHFA did not meet the pleading requirements in its motion and denied the request without prejudice. However, according to the opinion, the FHFA has until July 8 to resubmit its motion with the proper pleading explaining why it should be added to the lawsuit.

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