Cendant Sees Second Year of Big Impairment Charges

Cendant Mortgage here, the nation's ninth largest residential servicer, took a $263 million servicing "impairment" charge in 2002.

A year earlier, the company took a $155 million charge, bringing its two-year impairment total to $419 million.

The company, a non-depository that is owned by a conglomerate with interests in real estate brokerage and auto rentals, declined to discuss the impairment charges and the profitability of its mortgage division.

The firm's 2002 earnings statement notes, "Strong growth in mortgage production revenue was offset by increased mortgage servicing amoritization due to continued high refinance activity."

It adds, "Although mortgage revenues were below the record levels achieved in the fourth quarter of 2001, the mortgage business was significantly profitable during fourth quarter 2002." Cendant did not release full year earnings for the unit.

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