Countrywide Financial Corp., the nation's largest servicer (with a market share of almost 17%), says its foreclosure rate almost doubled in January from that of a year earlier, according to new figures released Friday. At Jan. 31, 1.5% of the loans in its massive $1.48 trillion servicing portfolio ($21.8 billion) had entered the foreclosure process, a 92% increase from the level of a year earlier. Moreover, 7.5% of loans serviced by Countrywide were 30 days or more late. A year ago the ratio stood at 4.3%. Countrywide would not provide separate figures for subprime foreclosures, lumping all its servicing into one number. As for originations, Countrywide funded $21.8 billion in residential loans during January, a 41% decline from the level of a year earlier. Countrywide, which is being sold to Bank of America, saw its wholesale fundings plunge by 65%. Retail production was off 26%, with correspondent purchases falling 38%. Retail originations totaled $9.4 billion and wholesale just $2.5 billion, with correspondent coming in at $9.8 billion. The company also saw its commercial production plunge to just $50 million, a stunning 92% decline from the same month last year.

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