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Countrywide Closings Climb

$23.3 billion up from prior month but off from prior year

March 11, 2004

By MortgageDaily.com staff

Driven by a rise in its refinance business, mortgage loan production for Countrywide Financial Corporation rose from January, but is still down from last year.

The Calabasas, Calif.-based lender reported $23.3 billion in loan fundings during February, up 13% from the prior month but still off by a quarter from February 2003.

"The rate environment was a key driver for exceptional performance in the production sector," said chief operating officer Stanford Kurland in the announcement.

Direct lending accounted for $7.3 billion in volume, while wholesale lending made up $4.8 billion, Countrywide said. About $8.5 billion in loan fundings came from the correspondent channel and the rest from Capital Markets and Treasury Bank fundings.

Subprime mortgages made up $2.1 billion of February's numbers, according to Countrywide, and home equity loans made up another $1.6 billion.

"Demand for adjustable-rate, home equity and subprime loans remained strong, with average daily funding volume setting new records in each product," Kurland added.

Refinances represented 60% of the company's business, up from 55% reported for January.

Countrywide reported a servicing portfolio of $669 billion. February delinquency ended at 3.71% -- unchanged from the prior month -- the company said, and foreclosures pending edged up one basis point to 0.44%.

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