ABN AMRO Mortgage Group Inc., the nation’s sixth-largest mortgage lender, today announced a dramatic decline in its production for the month ended Jan. 31, 2004, for all of its production divisions.

AAMG reported total January production of $3.4 billion, with more than 19,800 loans funded, down 70 percent from the year-ago total of $11.4 billion.

With January production totaling $2.7 billion, InterFirst Wholesale Mortgage Lending was by far AAMG’s top-producing division for the month, although that division’s production fell 71 percent from last January’s $9.2 billion.

AAMG’s National Lending Center division reported $382 million in January production, a decline of 56 percent from $871 million a year earlier.

The Standard Federal Bank and LaSalle Bank Loan division took an 81 percent hit last month, with production falling to $196 million from $1 billion a year earlier.

The LaSalle Home Mortgage and ABN AMRO Mortgage origination businesses reported January production at $63 million, a decrease of 72 percent from $227 million in January 2003.

“This upcoming year will be one of great change, and competition, for the mortgage industry,” said AAMG group senior vice president Mike Maher. “Although production industrywide is down dramatically, interest rates today are still hovering near historical lows. This favorable interest-rate climate, coupled with forecasts for the overall improvement of the U.S. economy, signal the potential for a very solid year in our industry, primarily in terms of new construction and existing-home sales.”

ABN AMRO Mortgage Group Inc., an affiliate of bank holding company ABN AMRO North America Inc., includes ABN AMRO Mortgage, InterFirst Wholesale Mortgage Lending, LaSalle Home Mortgage, ABN AMRO Apartment Lending and LaSalle Bank and Standard Federal Bank Retail Mortgage operations.

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