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Countrywide Fundings Improve, Foreclosures Worsen

$25.6 billion February fundings

March 13, 2008

By MortgageDaily.com staff

February residential originations rose from January, delinquency dipped from a month earlier and government loan production has tripled over the past year at Countrywide Financial Corp. But home equity business tumbled and foreclosures climbed.

Residential loan fundings were 119,795 loans for $25.6 billion during February, according to monthly operational data released today. Volume climbed from 105,832 units for $21.9 billion the prior month but were well off 177,806 loans for $34.6 billion a year earlier.

The retail channel generated $12.4 billion of last month's activity, while correspondent production was $9.6 billion and mortgage brokers generated $3.5 billion, the announcement said. Banking operations purchases was responsible for the remainder.

Purchase money business represented $6.1 billion of February volume, the data indicated. Adjustable-rate mortgage activity accounted for $3.9 billion.

Home equity originations were $0.7 billion last month, down from $3.0 billion in February 2007 and the lowest level during the past year, Countrywide said. In stark contrast, government fundings were $3.2 billion -- well above $1.0 billion 12 months earlier and the highest level during the past year.

The Calabasas, Calif.-based company said it closed five commercial mortgages for less than $0.1 billion.

Countrywide reported its servicing portfolio at 9.0 million loans for $1.481 trillion on Feb. 29. Delinquency was 7.44 percent, down from 7.47 percent the prior month. Foreclosures were 1.64 percent -- jumping from 1.48 percent in January and 0.80 percent in February 2007.

The number of people employed by Countrywide edged up in February to 50,169 from 50,114 in January but down from 55,311 a year prior, the report indicated.

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