During the peak of the financial crisis the government took over the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) which are both government sponsored enterprises (GSE) which were created to enlarge the secondary market for mortgages in the US, to help people buy homes more easily. The two companies were placed under conservatorship on September 7, 2008.
Despite the fact that Freddie Mac posted a net income of $619 million during the fourth quarter of 2011 and additional income of $887 million, it still did not cover the required $1.7 billion dividend payment Freddie Mac needed to pay to the government.
Therefore, in order to keep the mortgage buyer solvent, Freddie Mac asked for $146 million from the Treasury so that they can pay the interest payments on the government funds on their loans from the government which has kept them afloat as a company.
Since the government takeover of Freddie Mac three and a half years ago they have needed $72.2 billion in aid from the government to stay in business.