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$1 Billion Regions Loan Sale

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A $1 billion residential loan sale helped Regions Financial Corp. cut its mortgage assets. Serious delinquency got more serious, and mortgage income was down from the third quarter. Quarterly originations were higher, though annual fundings fell.

Fourth-quarter residential production was $2.6 billion, according to the company’s earnings report. In the third quarter, $2.4 billion was originated, while fundings amounted to just $2.0 billion in the fourth-quarter 2009.

Regions said that its annual home-loan volume declined to $8.2 billion from the previous year’s $10.2 billion.

(after this story was published, Regions reported to Mortgage Daily that its residential mortgage servicing portfolio was $41.5 billion on Dec. 31, 2010)

Sitting on the balance sheet at yearend were $14.9 billion in residential first mortgages, lower than $15.7 billion three months earlier and $15.6 billion a year earlier. Delinquency of at least 90 days on these loans was 2.41 percent, worsening from 2.35 percent on Sept. 30 and 2.31 percent On Dec. 31, 2009.

The Birmingham, Ala.-based firm said it sold $1.0 billion in first mortgages during the quarter.

Regions also owned $14.2 billion in home-equity loans versus the third quarter’s $14.5 billion and the fourth-quarter 2009’s HEL holdings of $15.4 billion. HEL delinquency was up to 1.39 percent from 1.36 percent but fell from the same point in 2009 when it was 1.57 percent.

At $25.7 billion commercial mortgage holdings were lower than the prior quarter’s $26.3 billion and the $28.2 billion reported for the final quarter of 2009. Commercial construction loans, meanwhile, fell to $2.8 billion from $3.5 billion at the end of September and $6.3 billion at the end of 2009.

On owner-occupied commercial real estate loans, 90-day delinquency edged up to 0.05 percent from 0.03 percent at the close of the third quarter but was less than half the 0.12 percent reported for the end of 2009. The non-owner occupied rate was unchanged from the third quarter at 0.04 percent and was 10 basis points better than at the closed of the previous year.

Mortgage income fell to $51 million from the third quarter’s $66 million but was up from $46 million in the last quarter of 2009.

The holding company earned $142 million before taxes, swinging from a $305 million third-quarter loss and an $830 million loss in the final three months of 2009.

Across the entire organization, the number of employees was 27,829 on Dec. 31, 2010. The prior quarter’s headcount was 27,898, and there were 28,509 people working for the company 12 months prior.

Regions branch count slipped to 1,772 from 1,895 at the end of 2009.

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