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Mixed Mortgage Performance for Flagstar

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Flagstar Bancorp Inc. increased its serviced-for-investors portfolio while trimming its mortgage investment portfolio and sales staff. Quarterly home-loan fundings increased 21 percent, but annual activity was off 18 percent.

Residential loan production was $9.2 billion, according to the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report released Wednesday. Volume improved from $7.6 billion originated in the third quarter and was also better than the $6.9 billion closed in the final quarter of 2009.

Mortgage rate lock commitments fell to $8.9 billion from the third quarter’s $11.0 billion — suggesting upcoming business at the Troy, Mich.-based lender is headed down.

From Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, production totaled $26.5 billion, falling from $32.3 billion originated during the previous year.

The third-party servicing portfolio rose to $56.0 billion from $52.3 billion at the end of September. There was little change from the end of the prior year, when loans serviced for others were $56.5 billion.

First-mortgage holdings closed out last year at $3.8 billion, diminishing from $4.5 billion three months earlier and $5.0 billion one year earlier. At $0.2 billion, second-mortgage assets were down less than $0.1 billion from the prior quarter and year.

Delinquency of at least 30 days on held-for-investment mortgages, including “matured,” was 6.81 percent at the end of last month, sinking from 17.53 percent at the end of September.

Warehouse lending assets were $0.7 billion, lower than the third quarter’s $0.9 billion and more than the $0.4 billion at the end of 2009. Commercial real estate loans were marginally lower than the previous quarter at $1.3 billion and stood at $1.6 billion on Dec. 31, 2009.

Flagstar Bancorp had a fourth-quarter loss of $185 million before taxes, worse than the $18 million third-quarter loss and the $67 million loss experienced in the final three months of 2009.

Loan officers and account executives numbered 278 at the end of last year, fewer than the 285 at the close of the prior quarter and the 336 employed as of a year earlier.

Total headcount at all of Flagstar Bancorp finished 2010 at 3,279. The company employed 3,411 people at the end of the prior year.

There were 27 loan origination centers in operation as of the end of last month, the same as at the end of September but fewer than the 32 locations as of the end of 2009.

At the end of December, Flagstar operated 162 banking branches. The count was 165 at the end of 2009.

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