Fannie Mae is giving the mortgage servicing industry's handling of troubled government-backed loans a makeover. But it would rather do so in private.

The government-sponsored enterprise has acquired the rights to service hundreds of billions of dollars of loans and transferred responsibility for managing them to a select group of large subservicers, according to mortgage servicing insiders and analysts. It has specifically acknowledged only one such deal — the August purchase of servicing rights for a $73 billion pool of Bank of America loans — but industry participants believe more than a dozen others have already occurred.

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