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Chase Originations and Mortgage Staff Up, Delinquency Down

Mortgage News

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has added nearly 9,000 mortgage jobs during the past year. Quarterly home-loan production strengthened and looks to be headed higher, while delinquency declined despite a shrinking servicing portfolio.

Third-quarter residential originations were $36.8 billion, according to earnings data published Thursday.

Volume improved from $34.0 billion in the prior quarter but fell short of $40.9 billion in the same quarter during 2010.

During the first nine months of 2011, production totaled $107.0 billion.

The third-quarter figures reflected $22.4 billion in retail originations, stronger than the prior quarter’s $20.7 billion. Correspondent closings accounted for $13.4 billion, also higher than the second quarter when $10.3 billion was made in correspondent acquisitions. The remaining volume came from wholesale and negotiated transactions.

It looks like an elevated level of originations will be maintained in the fourth quarter based on loan applications, which rose 19 percent from the second quarter to $58.1 billion. Retail applications were up 12 percent, and correspondent applications jumped 36 percent.

The third-party mortgage servicing portfolio finished the third quarter at $0.9245 trillion, smaller than $0.9408 trillion as of June 30. The servicing portfolio was $1.0127 trillion a year prior.

The New York-based company’s balance sheet reflected $203.6 billion in real estate loans owned as of Sept. 30. The portfolio contracted from $209.9 billion on June 30 and $230.7 billion at the same point last year.

The latest total included $103.4 billion in home-equity loans, $15.1 billion in subprime mortgages and $84.4 billion in prime mortgages and payment-option adjustable-rate mortgages.

Excluding credit-impaired loans inherited as part of the Washington Mutual Bank acquisition, delinquency of at least 30 days finished September at 5.80 percent. Late payments fell from 5.96 percent three months earlier and 6.77 percent a year earlier.

The delinquency rate on “purchased credit-impaired” loans was 24.44 percent as of Sept. 30.

The retail financial services business earned $1.2 billion during the latest period, jumping from $0.4 billion three months earlier and $0.7 billion a year earlier.

Helping to grow this number was net income from mortgage production and servicing, which swung to an $0.2 billion profit from an $0.6 billion second-quarter loss. The unit had a profit of less than $0.1 billion in the same quarter during 2010.

Repurchase losses swelled to $329 million from the second quarter’s $241 million. But this category has diminished from $489 million in the third-quarter 2010. At $3.6 billion, total repurchase liability hasn’t moved much over the past five quarters. The worst vintage is 2007, which accounted for $0.6 billion of outstanding repurchase liabilities.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. earned $4.2 billion, retreating from a $5.4 billion second-quarter profit and $4.4 billion earned during the same three months in 2010.

As of the third quarter, 46,374 people were employed in mortgage lending at the company. Mortgage staff count has expanded from 43,060 in the prior quarter. A year prior, 37,825 mortgage employees worked at the company.

Within the retail financial services business, 128,992 people were employed, more than 122,726 in the second quarter and 114,440 in the third-quarter last year.

Company-wide headcount closed out September at 256,663, growing from 250,095 at the end of June. The staff size stood at 236,810 as of Sept. 30, 2010. Among hirings during the past year were more than 2,200 military veterans.

Chase operated 5,396 branches as of the end of September, more than the 5,340 branches reported for the second quarter.

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