Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data for 2003 indicate that Countrywide Home Loans Inc., Calabasas, Calif., has become the leading mortgage lender to "emerging markets" communities, according to Countrywide.The data, released by the Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council, show that Countrywide originated or purchased 440,870 loans made last year to members of minority groups, topping the ranks of mortgage lenders. The total represented an increase of 65.5% from the previous year's volume, the company said. The data also indicate that Countrywide made $74.7 billion in loans to African-American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaskan Native borrowers, the company said. Countrywide can be found online at http://www.countrywide.com.

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