Freddie Mac issued $15.7 billion in mortgage-backed securities during December, a slight improvement over the previous two months but still one of its weakest issuance months of the year.

However, during the month it acquired $29.8 billion in loans from its seller/servicers, its best purchase month since July.

Meanwhile the GSE  — operating under a government conservatorship since early September — saw its "credit enhanced" mortgage delinquency ratio increase to a record 3.79% in December, more than double the year-ago figure.

Credit enhanced means the underlying mortgages are covered by one of the nation's seven mortgage insurance companies, all of which are struggling financially.

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