Countrywide Financial Corp. said today it laid off nearly 5,000 workers in originations during September as mortgage loan fundings fell 44 percent from a year ago to $21 billion. Delinquency rates on Countrywide's $1.46 trillion servicing portfolio also jumped to 5.85 percent, although the company blamed about half of the 82-basis-point, one-month increase on the fact that September had four fewer business days than August. The steep drop in September loan production helped drive loan production for the third quarter down 27 percent from the previous quarter and 19 percent year-over-year. Countrywide attributed the fall in production to market conditions and more restrictive underwriting. The Calabasas, Calif.-based lender slashed subprime loan funding to $255 million in September, down from $1.3 billion in August and $3.1 billion a year ago. Government loan fundings were also down 25 percent compared to August, to $1.7 billion, and funding of adjustable-rate mortgages fell by more t...
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