Kellermann, Freddie's acting chief financial officer, was found dead in his Vienna, Va., home Wednesday, the first day of that break. The 41-year-old apparently hanged himself, sources said.
Kellermann talked about working hard and was told to take time off during Tuesday's meeting with HR, people familiar with the situation said. He agreed and began to delegate authority.
Kellermann's neighbors had concerns about him, the Associated Press reported. The strain of the job took a visible toll on Kellermann, they said.
Paul Unger, who lives across the street, called his neighbors a "solid, salt-of-the-earth kind of family." Kellermann was "a nice guy" who must have been under unimaginable pressure, he said.
Kellermann had lost a noticeable amount of weight recently, neighbors said, and some suggested he quit Freddie Mac.
Kellermann worked there for 16 years, becoming CFO in September when the government seized control of the failing mortgage giant. He has been working on the company's first quarter financial report, due at the end of May. Federal regulators have been closely overseeing the company's books and signing off on major decisions.
Federal prosecutors have been investigating Freddie Mac's business practices, but two law enforcement officials said Kellermann had not been under any scrutiny.
Medical examiners completed an autopsy on Kellermann but said final determination on his cause of death could be weeks away. It won't be made until all of the lab results are received, said Nancy Bull, the regional administrator for the medical examiner's office. The preliminary findings are consistent with a suicide, she said.
A law enforcement official speaking on condition of anonymity told The Associated Press that Kellermann hanged himself. He asked not to be identified because the investigation was ongoing.