Government staying in the mortgage business, and in a big way.

An 11th-hour payroll tax cut extension signed into law last week would for the first time divert funds directly from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two mortgage-finance companies under US conservatorship, to pay for general government expenses. Using fees from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is setting a precedent that will keep the government in the mortgage business for the foreseeable future.

Here is an interesting stat I found: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the FHA currently back more than 90% of loan originations, about double what they did during the subprime lending boom, according to Inside Mortgage Finance, a trade publication.

Thanks Nick. Good news to me.

Fees range from $15 to $30 on average per month on new mortgages backed by fannie or freddie. Do the math on this one. All to pay for congressional legislation. No cuts, no new taxes, gee, just charge fees.