Monthly loan originations fell at Countrywide Financial Corp. and may be headed lower. A year-over-year increase would have turned to a decline had it not been for a jump in correspondent purchases.
July residential fundings were 220,605 loans for $39.1 billion, according to a monthly operational summary released today. Production dropped from 240,777 loans for $45.3 billion in June but improved from 198,580 units for $36.9 billion a year earlier.
The decline was attributed to tighter lending guidelines, Countrywide President David Sambol said in the statement.
Correspondent sellers contributed the biggest chunk to the Calabasas, Calif.-based company's business last month, with $19.3 billion in reported purchases compared to $14.0 billion in July 2006. Retail lending accounted for $12.7 billion of business during the latest month, while brokers funded $6.6 billion.
Slightly less than half of July activity was for home purchases while just over one-quarter was adjustable rate, according to the report. Home equity business was $3.9 billion and nonprime fundings were $1.8 billion.
Countrywide said its residential loan pipeline was $62.3 billion on July 31, falling from $68.5 billion at the end of the previous month.
The company said its massive servicing portfolio edged up to 8.8 million mortgages for $1.434 trillion as of July 31. Delinquency based on dollars outstanding was 4.89 percent, higher than 4.77 percent a month earlier and 3.61 percent a year earlier. Foreclosures pending have more than doubled over the past year to 1.04 percent.
Sambol stated that Countrywide "last month regained its position as the largest in the nation." But Wells Fargo & Co. reported its total managed servicing portfolio reached $1.467 trillion in June -- eclipsing the $1.416 trillion reported by Countrywide.
Countrywide spokesman Rick Simon said the discrepancy was most likely is the result of commercial mortgages being included in Wells Fargo's figures.
Countrywide said it closed 103 commercial mortgages last month for $0.8 billion, mostly unchanged from June.
Countrywide employed 61,589 people at July's end, up more than 1,000 from June 30, the data indicated. About half of the headcount gain was due to an increase in loan origination employees, while more than 100 employees each were added to loan servicing, global operations and corporate overhead.