Residential Capital Corp. — which is on the auction block — posted a $4 billion loss in the fourth quarter after reclassifying some of its troubled mortgages and being forced to repurchase loans from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

A year ago, the GMAC-owned ResCap lost $790 million. GMAC is trying to unload several billion dollars in troubled loans held by ResCap and said in a statement Thursday that it continues to "explore strategic opportunities" for the unit. Loan repurchases by ResCap cost the company $573 million in the 4Q09. It also marked down the value of its mortgage servicing rights by $122 million. (According to the Quarterly Data Report, ResCap ranks fifth nationwide in terms of housing receivables with $380 billion.)

There was some good news, though. The mortgage lender originated $18.1 billion in the quarter, more than double its fundings in the same period a year earlier.

GMAC Financial Services is majority owned by the U.S. government, which has spent more than $15 billion to keep the company in operation through the credit crisis and recession. The parent company lost $5 billion in the fourth quarter ($4 billion of that amount tied to ResCap.)

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