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CTX Winds Down Retail Branch Operation

$20 million in 3rd quarter costs associated with wind down

November 6, 2008

By staff

The parent of CTX Mortgage Company LLC expects that the winding down of retail mortgage operations will cost nearly $20 million.

In its third-quarter earnings report, Centex Corp. said it became unable to use its private-label securitization vehicle, Harwood Street Funding I LLC, to fund new mortgage business. The market for mortgage-backed securities and commercial paper became significantly disrupted beginning in the second quarter.

In July, a decision was made to wind down retail mortgage operations over the next several months. Around 80 retail branches operating through the financial services division ceased originating on Sept. 30.

Third-quarter wind-down costs were $26 million, including $19 million in severance costs mostly tied to branch employees laid off.

"As a result of the significant disruptions in the mortgage markets and the related reductions in the mortgage market liquidity, the company has begun to focus its mortgage operations on builder loans to support home building," the report said.

Earlier this year, Prospect Mortgage was negotiating the acquisition of CTX's branches. But that deal fell apart and the retail branch operation was put up for sale.

In September, ViewPoint Bankers Mortgage acquired eight mortgage production offices in Texas with 45 employees from CTX. Later that month, Cherry Creek Mortgage acquired four Colorado branches.

The company had hoped to sell 50 branches in all.

CTX originated 6,073 loans for $1.2 billion during the third quarter, less than half the volume it originated a year earlier. Production was fairly evenly split between builder and retail business, with slightly more retail loans funded.

CTX Mortgage originations were being funded from two committed mortgage warehouse lines for $475 million as of Sept. 30. But a debt-rating downgrade by Moody's Investors Service subsequently triggered a lowering of its lines by $225 million.

Mortgage loans on Centex's balance sheet were $419 million on Sept. 30.

Centex reported a $172 million third-quarter loss -- far better than the $644 million loss a year earlier.

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