IndyMac deal slowed by Fannie mortgage issues-source

WASHINGTON, Jan 2 (Reuters) - The pending sale of failed mortgage lender IndyMac IDMCQ.PK hit a snag as mortgage giant Fannie Mae FNM.NFNM.P negotiates with federal regulators over the value of about $1 billion in obligations it believes IndyMac owes it, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Fannie Mae believes IndyMac, which has been run by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) since it failed in July, has obligations to repurchase around $1 billion of home mortgages that failed to meet Fannie’s standards, the financial industry source said.

Fannie contends IndyMac violated legal representations and warranties -- such as early payment defaults and loans made under false conditions -- on mortgages it sold to Fannie Mae, according to the source.

Brian Faith, a spokesman for Fannie Mae, said in a statement that Fannie is working closely with the FDIC to resolve the matter.

“We are awaiting information from the FDIC with regard to servicing valuations and confirmation of the identity and eligibility of the proposed buyers in order to finalize an agreement,” Faith said in a statement dated Wednesday. “Fannie Mae will continue to work constructively with the FDIC and IndyMac Federal Bank to reach a resolution in the near term that is in the best interest of all parties involved.”

A Fannie spokesman was not available for comment on Friday. An FDIC spokesman declined comment.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac FRE.NFRE.P, the largest U.S. home funding companies, were taken over by the government in September, virtually wiping out their shareholders.

The FDIC has been seeking a buyer for IndyMac and is close to a deal to sell the bank’s assets to a consortium of private equity and hedge fund firms, including J.C. Flowers & Co, Dune Capital Management, and Paulson & Co, according to another source familiar with the matter.

The consortium would buy the bank and its 33 branches, IndyMac’s reverse-mortgage unit and a $176 billion loan-servicing portfolio, the source said.

The FDIC has estimated that IndyMac’s failure cost about $8.9 billion. Barclays Capital and Deutsche Bank have been advising the FDIC on the sale.

The mortgage specialist’s IndyMac Bank unit was taken over by regulators after it failed on July 11, making it one of the largest bank failures in U.S. history. At the time, it had $32 billion in assets and $19 billion in deposits.

IndyMac was the ninth-largest U.S. mortgage lender in 2007, according to the newsletter Inside Mortgage Finance. (Additional reporting by Paritosh Bansal in New York and Rachelle Younglai; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)