Fannie Mae, which has been operating under a government conservatorship since September, has laid off hundreds of workers over the past four weeks, according to sources both inside and outside the mortgage investing giant.

At press time, a Fannie Mae source confirmed that "hundreds" of layoffs have occurred but said the company is beefing up its foreclosure and loss mitigation efforts — particularly in its Dallas office — and hopes to end 2009 with as many employees as it had in 2008.

The GSE issued a statement saying it is "taking steps to realign the company's organization, personnel and resources to focus on our most critical priorities, which include preventing foreclosures to help keep people in their homes and aiding in the recovery."

Among the known job cuts, said one individual, are reductions in government affairs, communications, marketing, and technology.

"They can't lobby any more so what's the point in having a government affairs division?" said the individual.

Freddie Mac also has been quietly laying of workers with more cuts on the way, said one mortgage executive close to the company. "This shouldn't be surprising to anyone," he said.

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