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MetLife Lifts Production

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MetLife Inc.’s mortgage operation managed to increase originations even as most other firms have reported a decline from the first quarter. In addition, the company boosted its mortgage staff by hundreds of employees.

MetLife Home Loans closed 15,950 residential mortgages for $3.947 billion during the second quarter, according to data provided to MortgageDaily.com. Business picked up from 15,307 units closed for $3.752 billion in the prior period.

Among lenders tracked by MortgageDaily.com, MetLife is the only company so far to report an increase in production from the first quarter.

But MetLife’s volume was lower than the second-quarter 2010, when 20,086 loans for $4.683 billion were funded.

Parent MetLife Bank, N.A., additionally originated 4,808 reverse mortgages for $0.615 billion. First-quarter reverse volume was 4,740 units for $0.628 billion, while 3,500 reverse mortgages were closed for $0.463 billion during the same period last year.

Earlier this month, MetLife Inc. disclosed plans to sell MetLife Bank. However, the company confirmed that both MetLife Home Loans and the reverse mortgage unit will remain part of MetLife Inc. after a potential sale.

The total mortgage servicing portfolio finished the second quarter at 618,900 loans for $116.796 billion. The portfolio stood at 613,795 home loans for $116.066 billion as of March 31, while it was just $95.185 billion at the same point during 2010.

Residential loans on the balance sheet finished June at $2.657 billion, higher than $2.399 billion at the end of March and $1.734 billion at the same point last year, according to MetLife Inc.’s earnings report.

The company additionally owned $39.050 billion in commercial mortgages, also higher than the prior quarter when holdings stood at $38.087 billion and the same period a year earlier’s $35.040 billion.

Earnings at MetLife Inc. came in at $1.7 billion before taxes, better than $1.5 billion three months prior but less than the $2.4 billion earned 12 months prior.

Mortgage employees on board closed out June at 5,156, more than the 4,956 people employed in mortgage operations as of March 31. Headcount was 3,959 a year earlier.

The company previously indicated that Steven A. Kandarian became president and chief executive officer of MetLife Inc. on May 1.

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