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Servicing Productivity Up, Earnings Down

Residential loan servicers have managed to push up the number of loans serviced per employee, but earnings per loan is another story.

The average mortgage servicing portfolio of independent mortgage bankers was 39.905 loans for $6.178 billion as of Sept. 30.

Three months earlier, the average portfolio was 36,237 mortgages for $5.407 billion.

The Mortgage Bankers Association revealed the results in its Quarterly Mortgage Bankers Performance Report for the third-quarter 2012. The report costs $350 for MBA members and $600 for non-members.

There were 181 servicers that shared information for the study, though the first- and second-quarter servicing portfolio comparisons only reflected portfolios from companies that participated in both periods.

Including data from all companies that participated in the third-quarter 2011 survey, the average portfolio was 31,329 loans for $4.709 billion.

Servicers were able to handle 1,111 loans serviced per full-time employee, more than 1,045 in the prior period and 869 in the same period in 2011.

Net servicing financial income swung to a $24 per-loan loss from a positive $39 per loan in the second quarter and were a negative $28 per loan in the same quarter last year.

That worked out to a negative 1.21 basis points in the third quarter, a positive 3.20 BPS in three months earlier and a negative 2.39 BPS a year earlier.

The third-quarter number varied based on servicer size.

Companies that service fewer than 2,500 loans earned a negative 1.38 BPS, while servicers with portfolios in excess of 50,000 loans earned a negative 0.35 BPS per loan.

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