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Mixed Volume, Worse Delinquency at Countrywide

$68.5 billion Q4 fundings

January 9, 2008

By MortgageDaily.com staff

Quarterly originations tumbled again at Countrywide Financial Corp., though monthly fundings were higher for the third consecutive month. Meanwhile, delinquency and foreclosures soared to the highest level in years.

Fourth quarter residential production was $68.5 billion, according to operational data released by the Calabasas, Calif.-based company today. During the third quarter, volume was $94.6 billion, while fourth quarter 2006 originations were a $121.9 billion.

Nonprime production, which includes "nonprime fundings" and "home equity fundings," was $4.6 billion in the latest quarter, falling from $12.1 billion in the third quarter and $20.8 billion a year earlier, according to the report.

During all of 2007, residential originations were 2.2 million loans for $408.2 billion, down from 2.5 million loans for $462.5 billion in 2006, the report said.

For just December, Countrywide said it funded 116,550 loans for $23.4 billion, up from $23.1 billion in November and the third consecutive month of higher volume. In December 2006, fundings were $41.7 billion.

The mortgage banker's residential pipeline, an indication of upcoming originations, was $35.1 billion at the end of December, falling from $42.6 billion 31 days earlier and $57.2 billion a year earlier.

In-house Countrywide originators accounted for $10.2 billion of December's business, while correspondent originations were $9.9 billion and broker fundings were $3.0 billion, the data indicated. Capital market purchases and banking operation purchases accounted for the remainder of last month's volume.

Purchase business represented about 39 percent of December activity, off from 42 percent the previous month, Countrywide said.

Home equity fundings totaled $1.3 billion last month, falling from $1.9 billion in November, according to the report. December nonprime fundings were less than $0.1 billion, down slightly from the prior month and way off from $3.7 billion a year earlier.

Commercial originations were $0.2 billion during December, rising from $0.1 billion in November but way off $1.1 billion a year earlier.

Countrywide saw its servicing portfolio continue to climb, reaching 9.03 million loans for $1.476 trillion as of Dec. 31. Excluding foreclosures, delinquency continued to ascend for the ninth consecutive month to 7.20 percent. Foreclosures, rising for the second consecutive month, reached 1.44 percent at month end.

Delinquency and foreclosure levels are at the highest level since 2000, according to the oldest available data recorded by MortgageDaily.com.

Countrywide reportedly employed 50,600 people as of yearend. Loan originators accounted for 22,549 jobs, while servicing employee count was 8,854.

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