Freddie Mac said Friday that defaults in its loan portfolio rose to another record last month while its portfolio of residential assets grew at an annualized rate of 7.3%.

Mortgages at least 90 days late or in foreclosure among the single-family loans that Freddie Mac either owns or guarantees grew to 3.33% of the total in September, up from 3.13% the previous month and 1.22% a year earlier, the McLean, Va., government-sponsored enterprise said in its monthly volume summary.

Defaults have climbed for 28 straight months and started to set records last year.

Holdings on the GSE's balance sheet expanded by $4.8 billion, to $784.2 billion, after declining in four of the previous five months. This was still down from $867.1 billion in March.

Freddie and Fannie Mae have been trimming assets as the Federal Reserve's buying of $1.25 trillion of mortgage bonds limits opportunities for profitable investments, while continuing to increase their debt guarantees.

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