In December, Freddie Mac CEO Charles Haldeman (from left), FHFA acting Director Edward DeMarco and Fannie Mae CEO Michael Williams testified on Capitol Hill about the Federal Housing Finance Agency's performance.
Credit Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
A federal Inspector General's office confirmed Wednesday it is looking into Freddie Mac investments that act as bets against homeowners being able to refinance.
In addition, U.S. senators are expected to probe Freddie Mac's investment practices at a hearing on Capitol Hill on Thursday.
Freddie Mac, based in northern Virginia, is the taxpayer-owned mortgage giant whose public mission is to make homeownership more affordable for Americans.
Sen. Robert Casey, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, sent a list of questions about Freddie Mac's controversial trades to the mortgage giant's regulator, highlighting how much remains unknown even after a flurry of statements from the regulator.
Two senators who have taken the lead on legislation aimed to help homeowners refinance at historically low interest rates were blunt this morning about how concerned they are by the news NPR reported earlier this week that Freddie Mac "has placed multibillion-dollar bets against American homeowners being able to refinance to cheaper mortgages."
Freddie Mac last month said it would stop making risky bets against homeowners after concerns were raised by its regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The statement by the FHFA was issued in response to an investigation by NPR and ProPublica that disclosed how Freddie Mac bought billions of dollars in securities that turned a profit if homeowners remained stuck in high rate mortgages. The White House said the Treasury Department is looking into Freddie Mac's investments. Steve Inskeep talks with NPR's Chris Arnold and Jesse Eisinger of ProPublica about their report.