Freddie Mac, the U.S.-owned mortgage financier, will return $30.4 billion to the Treasury Department, after reporting a third-quarter profit that boosted its total payments above the amount the company has received in aid following the credit crisis.

The McLean, Virginia-based company, which has operated under federal conservatorship since it was seized in 2008, had net income of $30.5 billion for the three-month period that ended Sept. 30, according to a statement released today. The results marked the company's eighth consecutive profitable quarter.

Freddie Mac, which ended the quarter with positive net worth of $33.4 billion, is required to pay Treasury everything above a $3 billion permitted reserve in return for the taxpayer aid it has received under conservatorship. The company, which was sustained by drawing $71.336 billion in aid from Treasury, has now returned $71.345 billion, according to a company statement.

Freddie Mac (FMCC)'s net worth, and therefore its payment to Treasury, were boosted by a reversal of writedowns on $23.9 billion in tax credits, which may be valuable now that the company has returned to profitability.

The company and Washington-based Fannie Mae (FNMA) have been profiting from the rebound in the housing market. Through the second quarter of this year, they paid Treasury a total of $146 billion in dividends, which count as a return on the U.S. investment in the firms and not repayment of their debt to taxpayers.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were created by the federal government before becoming publicly traded companies, buy mortgages from lenders and package them into securities on which they guarantee payments of principal and interest.

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