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Fannie, Freddie post solid earnings for 1Q

WASHINGTON (AP) — Government-controlled mortgage financers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac posted solid earnings for the January-March period as the U.S. housing market continued to recover. Gains over recent quarters have enabled the companies to fully repay their taxpayer aid after being rescued by the government in 2008.

Fannie Mae reported Thursday that it earned $5.3 billion in the first quarter. Fannie will pay a dividend of $5.7 billion to the U.S. Treasury next month. With its previous payments totaling about $121 billion, Fannie has more than fully repaid the $116 billion it received from taxpayers.

Freddie Mac posted net income of $4 billion for the first quarter. Freddie, based in McLean, Virginia, will pay a dividend of $4.5 billion to the government. Freddie already had repaid its full government bailout of $71.3 billion after paying its third-quarter 2013 dividend.

The government rescued Fannie and Freddie at the height of the financial crisis in September 2008 when both veered toward collapse under the weight of losses on risky mortgages. Together the companies received taxpayer aid totaling $187 billion.