Time line: The slow collapse of Fannie, Freddie

AP News
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Posted: Dec 30, 2009 4:38 PM

Key events in the government's rescue of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:

_ March 2008: As the housing market unravels, regulators loosen restraints on Washington-based Fannie and McLean, Va.-based Freddie so they can expand their support of the mortgage market. The chief executives of both companies commit to boosting the companies' financial cushion as concerns about their financial health rise.

_ July 2008: The two companies struggle to raise money from private investors. Congress passes a bill giving the Bush administration permission to invest taxpayer money in the two companies if needed.

_ September 2008: The Bush administration seizes Fannie and Freddie, backing them with up to $200 billion and ousting the top executives. The government takes a 79.9 percent ownership stake in each company, allowing them to stay off the federal budget.

_ February 2009: The Obama administration doubles its commitment to Fannie and Freddie to $400 billion, and unveils a $75 billion plan to help refinance or restructure mortgages for up to 9 million homeowners.

_ December 2009: Obama administration lifts $400 billion cap, though only a total of $111 billion in aid has been given to the two companies.

_February 2010: Obama administration expected to a release a preliminary report on future structure of the mortgage giants.