Countrywide Close on Wells' Heels

Wells Fargo leapfrogged to the top of the servicing charts with its purchase of servicing rights on $140 billion of home loans from Washington Mutual, but Countrywide isn't far behind, according to the company's July operational data.

Countrywide, which has largely eschewed MSR purchases in favor of organic growth, serviced $1.2 trillion (or 7,813,034 home loans) at the end of July, an increase of 22% from July 2005. That includes $22 billion of subservicing volume.

Countrywide said the delinquency rate on its servicing portfolio was 4.11% at the end of July, up from 3.86% a year earlier. Pending foreclosures also rose from one year earlier.

The servicing portfolio was $14 billion larger than it had been one month earlier and $220 billion larger than a year earlier.

By contrast, Wells Fargo said that upon close of its MSR purchase from WaMu, its servicing portfolio would total $1.25 trillion.

Countrywide and Wells Fargo have been running just about neck-and-neck in the race to be the nation's biggest mortgage originator as well.

However, Countrywide reported that its loan funding volume has fallen below year-ago levels, reflecting higher interest rates industrywide.

Average daily mortgage loan application activity in July was $2.5 billion, down 15% from 12 months earlier. The company's mortgage loan pipeline totaled $62 billion, compared to $77 billion as of July 2005. (c) 2006 Mortgage Servicing News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.mortgageservicingnews.com http://www.sourcemedia.com

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