Mortgage Daily

Published On: October 20, 2010

Wells Fargo & Co., already the nation’s biggest residential lender, leapt past $100 billion in quarterly originations and put more distance between its top-ranking volume and No. 2’s. The current quarter is on track for an even better performance.

The San Francisco-based company reported $101.2 billion in third-quarter originations, jumping from $81.5 billion in home loans closed in the second quarter. The next biggest lender, Bank of America Corp., reported just $74.1 billion in production for the third quarter — unchanged from three months earlier.

The latest activity included $1.5 billion in home-equity originations, higher than the prior quarter’s $1.4 billion. Correspondent and wholesale business accounted for $47 billion of the total, jumping from $36 billion three months earlier.

Wells funded $96 billion in residential loans a year earlier. Year-to-date production 2010 was $258.5 billion.

Wells said it received $194 billion in new applications during the third quarter, the second highest on record. The prior period’s applications received were $143 billion. A 49 percent increase in the application pipeline to $101 billion suggests that the current quarter’s activity will be even higher.

The residential servicing portfolio finished September at $1.808 trillion, lower than $1.812 trillion on June 30 but bigger $1.795 trillion at the same point last year. Last month’s standing reflected $1.433 trillion in mortgages serviced for other companies, $0.365 trillion in owned loans and $0.010 trillion in subservicing.

First mortgage owned by the bank fell to $228.1 billion from $233.8 billion on June 30. The total stood at $232.6 billion at this time last year.

The home-equity portfolio, including junior-liens and home-equity lines-of-credit, holdings declined to $120.7 billion from $123.8 billion at the end of last year.

Home-loan delinquency was around 8.14 percent at the end of last month, 1 basis point better than the second quarter. On just the HEL portfolio, delinquency of at least 60 days declined to 3.36 percent from 3.58 percent at the end of 2009.

The bank-holding company, which operates residential lending through its Wells Fargo Home Mortgage unit, addressed its foreclosure process in the report. It noted that delinquent borrowers are called more than 75 times and are sent nearly 50 letters before a foreclosure sale. The average foreclosed loan during September was 16 months past due.

Wells expressed confidence in its foreclosure process, explaining that the people who sign its affidavits are the same folks who review the files.

“If we find errors, we fix them,” Wells said. “We remain confident in our foreclosure and mortgage securitization policies, practices and controls and adequacy of repurchase reserve.”

The financial institution was able to chip away at its outstanding repurchase demands — reducing the balance to 16,527 request for $3.8 billion from the second quarter’s 18,675 demands for $4.3 billion. Of the Sept. 30 balance, $2.2 billion was from the government sponsored enterprises, $0.9 billion were private and $0.7 billion were mortgage insurance rescissions.

A $370 million third-quarter provision for repurchases was smaller than the $382 million set aside three months prior, and Wells said that its total $1.3 billion repurchase reserve liability is adequate.

“The lower provision this quarter reflected a decline in demands from agencies on the 2006-2008 vintages and lower total outstanding demands as the company continues to work with investors to resolve the outstanding demand pipeline,” the report explained.

Commercial mortgage production was $13.9 billion, unchanged from three months prior. From Jan. 1 to Sept. 30, commercial originations were $38.0 billion.

The commercial mortgage servicing portfolio as of Sept. 30 was $548 billion — including $439 billion in third-party servicing, $99 billion in owned loans and $10 billion in subservicing. The total portfolio was $551 billion at the end of June and $571 billion a year prior.

Wells owned $126.7 billion in commercial mortgages as of the end of the third quarter, lower than $130.5 billion three months earlier. Commercial real estate assets were higher on Sept. 30, 2009, at $135.2 billion.

Net income was a record $3.34 billion at Wells Fargo & Co. The firm earned $3.06 billion the prior quarter and $3.24 billion during the third-quarter 2009.

As of Sept. 30, Wells employed 266,900 people, fewer than 267,600 at the end of the second quarter. Headcount was 265,100 a year ago.

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