2 very nice graphs courtesy of Calculated Risk blog, showing *part* of the reason it was necessary to massacre the US taxpayer in the still of the night Christmas Eve - i.e. put the US taxpayer on the hook for unlimited losses for the next 3 years (rather than the originally promised $200 BILLION, raised to $400 BILLION).  [Jan 5, 2010: WSJ - The Treasury Department's Christmas Eve Masscare of the US Taxpayer]  Huge waves of losses shall continue to wash upon our shores...

Fannie Mae is the larger entity of the two but you could effectively overlay the graphs onto 1 chart and you'd see the same hockey stick growth.  Keep in mind these are older loans that have had time to go bad - with conventional lenders more than happy to stuff as many new mortgage loans (many at 3.5% down or less with a tax credit) as the government will suck up...  the denominator (# of mortgages) is exploding higher therefore it should be helping to keep these figures contained, as X amount of bad loans divided by a serious increase of total mortgages would lead to a smaller figure.  So to see these percentages run into the stratosphere even as the government now dominates the housing market, and Fannie/Freddie vacuum in ever increasing amounts of mortgages ... well, let's just say the data is far worse than it would look on first appearance.

Rate of Serious Delinquency (at least 90 days late) for conventional single family

Fannie Mae 5.29% in November 2009 v 2.13% in November 2008

Freddie Mac 3.87% in December 2009 v 1.72% in December 2008

(note the Fannie Mae data is 1 month delayed versus Freddie Mac)

[Sep 7, 2008: Bailout Nation Continues - Fannie/Freddie Now Owned by You]

And don't forget about the FHA program, another innovative solution to save the housing market - at the minor cost of a few generations of debt.... [Nov 18, 2009: Toll Brothers CEO - Yesterday's Subprime is Today's FHA