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County could consolidate cases for Fannie, Freddie appeal

Milwaukee County’s appeal of a federal decision that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not liable for unpaid taxes could be consolidated with three other cases.

Milwaukee County sued Fannie Mae, formally the Federal National Mortgage Association, and Freddie Mac, formally the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., in July 2012, alleging the entities owed transfer taxes for properties they sold throughout the state.

United States District Judge Charles Clevert dismissed the lawsuit in July.

The county’s attorney, Charles Crueger of Milwaukee-based Hansen Reynolds Dickinson Crueger LLC, appealed that decision Aug. 6. The county has until Sept. 16 to file a brief detailing its argument for the appeal.

However, all parties in the case must file statements by Monday advising the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals whether Milwaukee County’s appeal should be consolidated with others.

The consolidated appeal includes a similar case filed by DeKalb County in Illinois and cases filed by Fannie, Freddie and their conservator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, against John Acardo, DeKalb County’s clerk and recorder, and Brian Hamer, director of the Illinois Department of Revenue.

In Milwaukee County, transfer taxes are assessed at $3 for every $1,000 of a property’s value. The seller must pay that tax. Milwaukee County’s register of deeds has estimated the entities owe at least $1 million.

Fannie and Freddie have claimed their charters provide exemptions from all taxation.


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