WASHINGTON -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are expected to require less taxpayer aid and may be able to stop tapping government coffers as early as next year, their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, said Friday.

The main reason is the improved financial condition the two bailed-out companies, which is leading to an improved mortgage market.

The government-controlled companies, are expected to draw between $191 billion and $209 billion from the U.S. Treasury by the end of 2015, the regulator said. That is lower than the previous projection of as much as $350 billion.

"Substantially" better than expected financial results helped brighten the outlook for the companies, which have drawn a total of $188 billion in bailout funds to stay afloat since they were taken over in 2008.

Also, the Obama administration scrapped the 10% dividend payment the companies were required to pay the Treasury as part of their original bailout contract. The government-controlled companies sometimes had to borrow money from the Treasury to make the payment to the Treasury.

So far, the companies have paid the Treasury more than $45 billion in dividends.


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