SunTrust 4Q Mortgage Production Returns Profits

SunTrust Banks Inc., Atlanta, reported $241 million of mortgage production income for 4Q12, compared with losses of $64 million for 3Q12 and $62 million for 4Q11. The increase versus the third quarter was due to a $359 million reduction in the bank’s mortgage repurchase provision, but that was offset by declines in loan production and margins.

It noted mortgage repurchase demand fell by 5% from 3Q12.

The servicing business added income of $45 million, down from 3Q12’s $64 million, but more than double the $22 million earned in 4Q11.

The quarter-to-quarter decline was because of less-favorable net hedge performance. The year-over-year increase was due to a $38 million HARP 2.0 writedown recognized in 4Q11. But lower servicing fees because SunTrust’s portfolio shrunk partially offset the gain.

SunTrust was a party to the mortgage servicing settlement and its portion recorded in the fourth quarter was $22 million, with $31 million accrued previously. Its total cash portion for the settlement is $63 million. It also needs to provide $100 million in relief to borrowers which had not been accrued for.