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Stearns’ Servicing Portfolio Up, Production Sinks

After this story was published, Stearns Lending issued revised fourth-quarter production data. Read about the corrected numbers at www.mortgagedaily.com/stories/StearnsProductionError050714.asp.

Despite a steep drop in residential loan production at Stearns Lending Inc., the company continued to grow its mortgage servicing portfolio. In line with the slowdown in business, headcount was trimmed.

The Santa Ana, Calif.-based company reported that it originated 2,549 residential loans for $0.632 billion during the three months ended Dec. 31, 2013.

Business plummeted from 11,860 loans closed for $2.941 billion in the third quarter.

Volume was also significantly lower than the $3.7 billion funded during the final three months of 2012.

From Jan. 1 through Dec. 31 of last year, 43,911 loans were originated for $11.032 billion, off from 49,000 loans closed for $11.8 billion during all of 2012..

Retail originations fell to $0.071 billion from $0.459 billion in the third quarter. Wholesale production plunged to $0.534 billion in December from $2.206 billion, while correspondent acquisitions sank to $0.027 billion from $0.277 billion.

Despite the dismal origination results, the mortgage servicing portfolio climbed to 97,080 loans for $22.796 billion from 79,819 mortgages serviced for $18.658 billion as of Sept. 30.

The servicing portfolio was just $9 billion at the end of 2012.

Stearns serviced $22.790 billion for third parties as of Dec. 31, 2013, while the remaining $0.006 billion of the servicing portfolio was owned assets.

The size of the staff was reduced to 1,387 employees from 1,444 people at the end of the third quarter and 1,400 as of the end of the fourth-quarter 2012.

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