The Government National Mortgage Association guaranteed a record $418 billion of mortgage-backed securities in fiscal year 2009, but it turned out to be less profitable than in previous years.

Net income totaled $509.6 million in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, down from $1 billion the previous fiscal year when Ginnie Mae MBS issuance totaled only $277 billion.

Low interest rates appear to be the culprit, according to an audit of Ginnie's financial status and internal controls by the accounting firm Carmichael, Brasher, Tuvell & Co.

The annual audit, dated Nov. 6, shows that Ginnie's interest income fell to $109.5 million in the last fiscal year from $633.5 million in the previous one.

Revenue from Ginnie's MBS program totaled $547.8 million, up from $373 billion.

The audit also shows that Ginnie Mae issuers in default have left the agency with $26.2 billion in single-family loans, up from $400 million.

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