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Originations Off at JPMorgan

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Home loan production fell at JPMorgan Chase & Co., while consumer delinquency and lending income deteriorated. The outlook for its mortgage business is weak, but overall earnings are strong.

Residential originations were $37.6 billion during the third quarter, earnings data released today indicated. Volume fell from $41.7 billion in the prior quarter and $40.3 billion the same quarter the prior year.

For the first three quarters of 2009, Chase originated $117.9 billion.

Included in the volume were $0.5 billion in home-equity loans, off from $0.6 billion in the second quarter and tumbling from $2.6 billion last year.

Correspondent fundings accounted for $18.4 billion of third-quarter business, while retail originations represented $13.3 billion and wholesale was $3.4 billion. There were also $2.0 billion in negotiated transactions.

Fourth-quarter fundings are likely to fall because new loan applications fell to $45.5 billion from the first quarter’s $54.0 billion.

The New York-based behemoth’s third-party servicing portfolio finished the latest period at $1.0989 trillion, lower than $1.1175 trillion three months earlier. A year earlier, the portfolio stood at $1.1148 trillion.

Home-equity holdings were $131.9 billion at the end of the third quarter, off from $135.9 billion at the end of the second quarter. Prime mortgage holdings fell to $80.3 billion from $82.9 billion, and subprime holdings declined to $19.4 billion from $20.2 billion. Option-payment adjustable-rate mortgages on the balance sheet finished the latest period at $38.7 billion, lower than $39.5 billion.

Consumer loan delinquency of at least 30 days, excluding agency loans, was 5.85 percent on Sept. 30, rising from 5.22 percent on June 30. A year ago, the rate was 3.16 percent.

“Credit costs remain high and are expected to stay elevated for the foreseeable future in the consumer lending and card services loan portfolios,” JPMorgan Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said in a news release. “While we are seeing some initial signs of consumer credit stability, we are not yet certain that this trend will continue.”

Consumer lending generated $$1.0 billion in losses, worsening slightly from the prior quarter’s $1.0 billion loss and up from the prior year’s $0.7 billion.

Total net income at JPMorgan, however, climbed to $3.6 billion during the third quarter from $2.7 billion three months earlier. Earnings were just $0.5 billion a year ago.

Headcount at the retail financial services operation ended September at 106,951, up from 103,733 at the end of June.

JPMorgan said it had 220,861 employees across all businesses and departments as of Sept. 30, higher than 220,255 on June 30.

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