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The county alleges Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac owe millions in deed taxes.

Hennepin County sues mortgage giants

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage agencies that either did or didn’t bring you the housing bubble and the ensuing burst, were so busy in recent years that they forgot to pay their deed taxes. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman has sued Frannie and Freddie in federal court for more than $10 million, that being the Minnesota Deed Transfer Tax that has gone unpaid throughout the state.

“We brought more than 50 criminal cases against businesses and individuals who engaged in mortgage fraud. Now we are bringing a civil case against two corporations that thought they didn’t have to pay a deed tax like the rest of us when we sell our home,” said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.

According to a press release from Freeman’s office, Fannie and Freddie maintain that they do not have to pay the deed tax because Minnesota law specifically exempts the United States or any of its agencies. Further, they argue that the federal charter given to the two corporations says they shall be exempt from all taxation by states or counties, the press release said.

Earlier this year, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan held that the charters of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not exempt them from state deed transfer taxes, Freeman’s office said.

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