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Fundings Fall, Mortgage Holdings Grow at Wells

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Third-party originations led overall activity lower at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. But its servicing portfolio grew as did its mortgage assets, while delinquency on home-equity loans improved.

Mortgage loan production fell to $76 billion from $94 billion in the fourth-quarter 2009, parent Wells Fargo & Co. reported today. Business was also lower than $101 billion during the first-quarter 2009.

Retail originations fell 16 percent from the fourth quarter to $43 billion, and correspondent and wholesale business tumbled nearly one-fourth to $32 billion. The disparate decline was even more pronounced when compared with the first-quarter 2009 — with retail down 16 percent and third-party volume off more than a third.

An indication of upcoming origination activity, new applications, fell 13 percent from the fourth quarter to $125 billion — though the application pipeline gained 4 percent to end March at $59 billion.

The Des Moines, Idaho-based company’s managed residential servicing portfolio finished last month at $1.798 trillion, rising from $1.796 trillion three months earlier. The March figure included $1.417 trillion in loans serviced for others, $0.371 trillion in loans its owns and $0.010 trillion in subservicing.

Its one- to four-unit first-mortgage holdings were $240.5 billion on March 31, more than $229.5 billion on Dec. 31. Home-equity loan assets rose to $117.4 billion from $115.4 billion.

Delinquency of at least two months on HELs improved to 6.24 percent from the fourth quarter’s 6.74 percent.

Wells noted that it boosted its repurchase reserves to $1.3 billion from $1.0 billion at the end of last year.

The company serviced $564 billion in commercial mortgages as of March 31, less than $569 billion on Dec. 31. Last month’s total reflected $449 billion in loans serviced for others, $105 billion in Well Fargo loans and $10 billion in subservicing.

The commercial real estate portfolio closed out March at $132.4 billion, lower than $134.5 billion at the end of last year.

Wells Fargo & Co. earned $2.5 billion in the first quarter, less than $2.8 billion in the prior period and $3.0 billion the prior year.

Employment at all Wells entities edged up to 267,400 from 267,300 three months earlier.

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