While auto giant General Motors continues to struggle, its mortgage division ripped the cover off the ball in 2005, posting record earnings.According to financial statements released Jan. 26, GM's mortgage operations earned $1.4 billion in 2005, a 27% increase from the prior year. (The figure includes earnings for both the residential and commercial mortgage units.) Despite the stellar results of its financial services operation, GM posted a $4.8 billion loss in the fourth quarter. GM, which is closing plants and laying off thousands in an effort to modernize and survive, still hopes to sell a controlling stake in both Residential Capital Corp. (where the residential divisions are housed) and GMAC Commercial Mortgage. Recently, banking giant Wachovia Corp. was mentioned as having an interest in ResCap, but both parties declined to discuss the matter.

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