Countrywide Financial Corp. reports mortgage loan fundings for August were down 24 percent compared to last year, at $40 billion.

Mortgage loan fundings for the year to date total $296 billion, down 4 percent from 2005.

Adjustable-rate loan fundings for August off were off 52 percent from last year, at $18 billion, while home equity funding remained essentially flat, at $4.1 billion. Nonprime fundings in August were down 21 percent year over year, to $3.7 billion.

Countrywide Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Angelo Mozilo put the latest numbers in the best light, noting that total loan fundings were up 12 percent over last month, “but declined year over year as a result of the expected industry slowdown.”

Mozilo noted that the $138 billion in year-to-date purchase activity is off only 6 percent from 2005, when the company posted all-time highs. Countrywide’s servicing portfolio has increased by $208 billion in the last year and stood at $1.2 trillion at the end of August.

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