Countrywide Home Loans, Calabasas, Calif., funded $38 billion in mortgages during September, a 22% decline from the volume recorded in the same month last year.Meanwhile, its production of payment-option adjustable-rate mortgages once again took a dramatic plunge, according to the company. During the month, the nation's largest mortgage banker originated $4.3 billion in option ARMs, a 57% decline from that of September of last year. (In August Countrywide originated $5.4 billion in option ARMs, a 48% decline from the level of a year earlier.) Average daily mortgage applications totaled $2.8 billion, compared with $3 billion in September 2005. Last month the lender confirmed that it is cutting up to 10% of its "general and administrative" staff. Countrywide can be found online at http://www.countrywide.com.

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