By Jeanne Sahadi @CNNMoneyMay 9, 2013: 12:41 PM ET
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
U.S. taxpayers will soon reap a nearly $67 billion benefit from the recovering housing market, which will help to shrink deficits and delay the need to raise the country's debt ceiling.
On the heels of exceptional earnings by mortgage financing giant Fannie Mae, the Treasury Department will soon receive $59.4 billion in dividends from Fannie, which the federal government took over in September 2008.
On Thursday, Fannie recorded its largest ever quarterly pre-tax profit, which follows the company's record annual profit for 2012.
A day earlier, Freddie Mac said it would pay a $7 billion dividend to Treasury. It, too, was taken over by the government in 2008.
The dividend payments make a big dent in paying taxpayers back for the government bailouts. And because they will continue to pay profits to Treasury, their payments could soon exceed what the government invested.