Clayton suing the federal government

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac at center of potential class action suit

JONESBORO — Clayton County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to join Upson County commissioners in a potential class action lawsuit against the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

The resolution approved by commissioners this week states the Upson County Board of Commissioners filed a lawsuit on Sept. 5, against the Federal Housing Finance Agency Commission, the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation.

Interim Clayton County Attorney Jack Hancock told commissioners Upson County commissioners had invited them to join in the lawsuit because of the perceived widespread nature of the allegations. Court documents state every county in Georgia may qualify as a plaintiff.

“They are working to get it certified as a class action lawsuit,” said Hancock.

A copy of the lawsuit, provided by Clayton County officials, states more than $75,000 in tax proceeds are in dispute. The resolution states the case centers around claims by embattled financial institutions Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that they are exempt from paying the Georgia Real Estate Transfer Tax on some properties and have underpaid other real estate transfer taxes.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are run by the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Hancock told Clayton County commissioners the amount of money the county could receive if the group of plaintiff counties win the lawsuit ranges from 15 percent, to 33 percent, depending on how many counties end up joining the suit.