Quarterly fundings fell and home equity loss reserves jumped at Bank of America Corp. Earnings were up from the fourth quarter but tumbled from a year ago.
Total mortgage and home-equity loan production was $38.6 billion during the first quarter, the Charlotte, N.C.-based company reported today. Fundings dropped from $44.1 billion in the previous period and $44.5 billion a year earlier.
The latest activity included HEL volume of $16.6 billion and mortgage production volume of $21.9 billion.
"Direct-to-consumer mortgage originations in the quarter rose 32 percent, resulting in the highest quarter since 2003, as low mortgage rates in January spurred refinancing activity," the bank said.
The mortgage servicing portfolio reportedly was $404.3 billion at first-quarter's end, and mortgages serviced for investors were $268.0 billion. Outstanding residential mortgages were $266.1 billion and HELs outstanding were $118.4 billion. Commercial real estate loans were less than $62.7 billion.
Mortgage banking income was $0.5 billion, up from $0.4 billion in the fourth quarter. But company-wide, first-quarter net income was $1.2 billion, nearly $1 billion better than the prior quarter but substantially down from $5.3 billion a year earlier, the report said.
Earnings included an $0.2 billion increase in allowance for residential loan losses and a $1.6 billion increase for HEL losses. Residential mortgage charge-offs were less than $0.1 billion but more than double the fourth quarter level. HEL charge-offs also more than doubled to $0.5 billion.
"The weakness in the economy and prolonged disruptions in the capital markets took their toll on our performance," Chief Executive Officer Kenneth D. Lewis stated in the announcement.
BoA reported 209,096 full-time employees on March 31, about 600 fewer than yearend.