Fairholme Fund (MUTF:FAIRX – NAV) has just announced that it is filing lawsuits in both the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Federal Claims Court. The suits aim to protect the shareholder rights of the mutual fund in connection with its ownership of Fannie Mae / Federal National Mortgage Association (OTCBB:FNMA) and Freddie Mac / Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp (OTCBB:FMCC) shares. Those rights include receiving dividends from both companies, which are now profitable.
“Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are rapidly repaying the Government,” said Fairholme CIO Bruce Berkowitz in a statement. “Their success should surprise no one given the value of Fannie and Freddie. Once the government has recouped its investment, The Fairholme Fund – on behalf of our shareholders who are predominantly individual Americans with an average investment in the Fund of $43,000 – is owned a contractually specified, non-cumulative dividend for its investment in these companies.”
The statement provided by the company specifies that the suits it is filing don’t challenge the government’s emergency investments in the companies in 2008, but rather, the August 2012 “Net Worth Sweep,” which the fund said “attempted to change the rules of priority.”
The fund said it wants to hold the government to the terms of the investments it made in 2008.
Other Lawsuits For Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac
The suit appears to be similar to the one filed by Perry Capital on Sunday. Suits being filed in connection with Fannie Mae / Federal National Mortgage Association (OTCBB:FNMA) and Freddie Mac / Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp (OTCBB:FMCC) highlight just how much investors stand to lose over their investments in the two companies. It’s no wonder shareholders are so bitter about the double standard set forth by the government.
Officials have been considering what to do about the two companies, specifically, the possibility of winding them both down. Some lawmakers have argued that the two companies should not be in business and that housing finance should be left to the private market.