A strong December wasn't enough to save quarterly or annual originations at ABN AMRO Mortgage Group Inc.
The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based company announced mortgage production totaled $3.7 billion in December, a 2% increase from the prior month but only the second month of improved activity since last April. InterFirst Wholesale Lending, the largest originating division, generated $2.6 billion of the total.
The mortgage unit, under the umbrella of an Amsterdam-based banking giant, reported fourth quarter fundings of $10.6 billion, off $1.3 billion from the third quarter.
In all of 2004, ABN AMRO reported it originated more than 370,000 loans for $56.5 billion -- a sharp downturn from the previous year's $131.0 billion.
InterFirst's fundings during 2004 totaled $39.6 billion.
In 2005, ABN AMRO will focus on emerging customer segments, as well as enhance and improve the mortgage loan process from application throughout the life of the loan, company executive Mike Maher said.
"Mortgage servicing, especially loss mitigation and helping customers avoid foreclosure, will also be a company-wide focus in the coming year," he added.