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Nonprime Delinquency Soars at Countrywide

19% at yearend

March 2, 2007


photo of Coco Salazar

Nearly one in five nonprime loans at America's biggest lender were delinquent at yearend.

Delinquency on nonprime mortgages was 19 percent at the end of 2006, according to Countrywide Financial Corp.'s latest annual report filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Delinquency was 17 percent in the third quarter and 15 percent a year earlier.

The rise contributed to nonprime loans being the category of loans with the highest delinquency for the second year in a row, the Calabasas, Calif.-based lender reported. Government loans followed closely behind with a rate of nearly 14 percent.

The report additionally showed that about 3.53 percent of nonprime loans were pending foreclosure, up from 2.03 percent at yearend 2005.

In a conference call earlier this year, Countrywide Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo noted that he expected pressure to continue in the subprime arena. Nonetheless, the company was "preparing for increased borrower delinquencies and continued credit deterioration" in 2007.

Delinquency on Countrywide's total $1.298 trillion residential portfolio at last year's end was 5.02 percent and loans in foreclosures accounted for 0.65 percent of the portfolio. About $1.280 trillion of the total portfolio represents its owned portfolio, and of this, only 9 percent consists of nonprime loans, according to the filing.

Countrywide reported residential originations of $462.5 billion last year -- more than any other U.S. lender. Nonprime originations -- reflecting subprime and home equity fundings -- totaled $88.5 billion in 2006.

Coco Salazar is an assistant editor and staff writer for MortgageDaily.com.

e-mail: [email protected]

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