Bank of America shifts away from home equity as first mortgages surge

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Bank of America's total first-mortgage originations rose while its home equity production decreased in the third quarter.

At $20.6 billion, total first-mortgage production jumped 77% from the same quarter a year ago. It also was up 13% compared to the second quarter of this year.

Thirty-four percent of total first-mortgage production came in through the global wealth and investment management division during the quarter, up from 32% during the same period a year ago, and up from 29% during the second quarter of this year. The balance came from the consumer banking division.

Forty percent of all first-mortgage applications during the quarter came through the digital channel. That's up from 20% when the bank first started tracking this metric for mortgages in the fourth quarter of last year.

Home equity production was 25% lower than the same quarter a year ago and down 8% on a consecutive-quarter basis at $2.5 billion.

About 13% of home equity production came through the wealth management division as it did during the previous quarter. During the third quarter a year ago, the global wealth and investment management share of home equity production was 10%.

Overall, Bank of America's net income, at $5.8 billion, was down 19% from a year ago and down by 21% on a consecutive-quarter basis.

However, when adjusted for an impairment charge, the bank's net income of $7.5 billion was slightly higher on a both a year-to-year and consecutive-quarter basis.

The impairment charge included an increase in legacy mortgage-related litigation expense as well as the termination of a merchant services joint venture.

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