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First Horizon Originations Evaporate

Q4 production down 97%

January 16, 2009

By MortgageDaily.com staff

Quarterly residential originations plummeted 97 percent at First Horizon National Corp. -- reflecting the recent sale of most of its mortgage operations.

Last year, First Horizon funded $17.5 billion in residential mortgages, according to the Memphis, Tenn.-based company's earnings report released today. Volume fell from $27.4 billion in 2007.

MetLife Bank, N.A., acquired around 250 First Horizon mortgage production offices outside Tennessee on Aug. 31. An origination platform, servicing platform and $19 billion first-lien servicing portfolio were also included in the sale.

Impacted by the sale, production during the fourth quarter was less than $0.1 billion, falling from $3.1 billion in the third quarter and $6.3 billion a year earlier.

First Horizon's servicing portfolio ended December at around 351,000 loans for $63.7 billion, dropping from less than 451,000 loans for $65.3 billion at the end the previous quarter and roughly 632,000 loans for $103.7 billion at the end of 2007.

Residential loans on First Horizon's balance sheet ended the year at $8.2 billion, nudging slightly lower from Sept. 30 but higher than $7.8 billion a year earlier. Real estate construction loans were $1.0 billion at yearend, while real estate loans pledged against other liabilities were $0.7 billion.

Residential delinquency of at least 30 days was 6.94 percent on Dec. 31, falling from 7.38% on Sept. 30. Home-equity loan delinquency was 1.97 percent, up from 1.49 percent, while residential construction loan delinquency fell to 4.43 percent from 4.92 percent.

Commercial mortgages ended the latest period at $1.5 billion, and commercial construction loans were $1.8 billion.

Fourth-quarter 2008 mortgage banking income was a $23 million profit, easing from $30 million in the prior period, First Horizon said. A year earlier, the mortgage banking unit had a $155 million loss.

First Horizon had a full-year loss of $192 million across the company.

Earnings during the latest period were a $56 million loss, retreating from a $125 million third-quarter loss and a $249 million loss in the fourth-quarter 2008.

Full-time employees totaled 6,095 on Dec. 31, easing from 6,195 on Sept. 30. Headcount has dropped by more than 4,000 from a year ago -- reflecting the sale of the mortgage business.

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