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Chase Production Rises, Servicing Pulls Back

Quarterly home lending activity moved higher at JPMorgan Chase & Co. The size of the servicing portfolio, however, shrank.

For the first three months this year, residential home loan production reached $24.7 billion, according to the company’s first-quarter earnings report provided Tuesday.

While total lending volume previously included home-equity loan originations in the past, such figures were excluded from the company’s latest financial data.

Chase grew its non-HEL production from the $23.0 billion closed in the fourth-quarter 2014. Originations were at $17.0 billion during the first-quarter 2014.

Included in the first-quarter 2015 production total were $8.1 billion in retail originations and $16.6 billion in correspondent acquisitions. Both categories moved ahead of prior quarter volume of $7.7 billion for retail and $15.3 billion for correspondent.

As of March 31, the lender’s total mortgage servicing portfolio was $924.3 billion, declining from $948.8 billion as of Dec. 31 of last year and $998.1 billion serviced as of March 31, 2014.

The most-recent total included $723.5 billion in third-party servicing.

For the first quarter, Chase listed $191.661 billion in total-period end residential loans owned. Assets grew from the 183.569 billion listed at the end of the fourth-quarter 2014 and the $182.183 billion documented as of the first three-month marker last year.

For the most recent period, the company’s assets included $65.705 billion in HELs; $8.387 billion in subprime mortgages; and $117.115 billion in prime loans, including adjustable-rate mortgage options.

Chase’s mortgage investment portfolio, excluding purchased credit-impaired loans, had a 2.30 percent delinquency rate of at least 30 days. The rate was improved over the 2.61 percent and 3.21 percent delinquency rates reported as of Dec. 31 and March 31, respectively. The New-York based company revised these percentages down from prior earnings statements.

The 30-day or more PCI loan delinquency rate at 12.25 percent saw marked improvement as of the last day in December when the rate was at 13.33 percent. The current rate also was better compared to the 14.34 percent delinquency given for the last day of March in 2014.

Despite increased loan production, mortgage banking income before taxes decreased to $0.526 billion for the recent quarter compared to the $0.566 billion brought in during the last three months of 2014. Still, earnings in this category were well ahead of the $0.218 billion pulled in during the first three months of the previous year.

At the holding-company level, Chase’s earnings before taxes were $8.2 billion during this year’s first three months, a marked improvement over the $6.5 billion for last year’s fourth quarter and the $7.7 billion the same report showed for the first three months of 2014.

On a company-wide level, the publicly-traded firm ended last month with 241,145 employees, 214 fewer staff members than as of Dec. 31, 2014. Compared to last year’s March endpoint, 5,849 fewer were included in the headcount.

Specific mortgage staffing numbers for the most recent quarter were not provided.

The most recent branch count also slid downward — 5,570 as of March 31 — from the 5,602 locations accounted for at the end of last year.

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