Who owns all of those homes that have been foreclosed on from 2008 to the fall of 2010? As a taxpayer- You do.
Taxpayers fund mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Last year at this time the two lenders possessed around 120,000 homes mortgaged through various lending banks. These banks sold the mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac who in turn bundled them as securities and sold them to investors. These federal lenders guarantee the payment of the mortgages they sell. When the homeowners stop making monthly payments, Freddie and Fannie are on the hook for the remainder of the unpaid mortgage.
The 120,000 homes grew to 240,000 in default by September 30, 2010. The value in these homes are now at $24 billion. 1 in 4 mortgaged homes are now in the hands of Freddie and Fannie based on a RealtyTrac report. 1 in 2 mortgages in the US are owned or guaranteed by one of the two federal lenders.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are backed by The U.S. Treasury through the purchase of shares of preferred stock. To date $148 billion has been invested in them. As a dividend the Treasury has received $17 billion in two years. When liquidity becomes a problem they return to the Treasury for more money. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have both requested more funding from the Treasury during October. It is projected that eventually the foreclosure total could rise from 142 billion to $259 billion by December 2013, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.