Countrywide Financial Corp. managed to make $45 billion in mortgage loans in June — a 4 percent increase over the same month last year, despite “increasingly challenging” market conditions, the company said.

Although Countrywide made significant cutbacks in funding of subprime and adjustable-rate mortgages, delinquencies and foreclosures are up sharply from last year. Foreclosures pending as a percentage of unpaid principle balance have more than doubled in the last 12 months, to .96 percent, the company said. That compares with .45 percent in June 2006.

Delinquencies as a percentage of unpaid principal balance stood at 4.77 percent, compared with 3.4 percent last year.

“The housing market continues to soften, and delinquencies and defaults continue to rise,” said David Sambol, Countrywide president and chief operating officer, in a statement accompanying the release of numbers for June. “Additionally, interest rates, price competition in the residential lending markets and secondary market volatility have all increased. However, Countrywide’s residential funding volume in June was strong, driven primarily by seasonal purchase activity and higher application volumes in preceding months.”

Countrywide made just $1.8 billion in subprime loans in June, less than half the $4.1 billion total a year ago, and cut ARM funding by 40 percent to $12.6 billion. Home equity funding for the month was also down 33 percent from a year ago, to $3.7 billion.

For the year to date, subprime loan funding totaled $13.6 billion, down 33.4 percent, while ARM funding was down 32.5 percent to $75.6 billion. Home equity funding for the year so far was $21.1 billion, down 16.3 percent.

Countrywide boosted funding of government backed loans by 90.1 percent in June compared to a year ago, to $2.2 billion. For the year to date, government fundings were up 49 percent to $9.2 billion.

Purchase loans of all types for June were down 1.6 percent from a year ago, to $20.7 billion, while nonpurchase loans rose by 9.7 percent, to $24.5 billion.

In an attempt to take market share from its competitors, the Calabasas, Calif.-based lender has been on a hiring spree. The workforce in loan originations stood at 33,796 in June — an increase of 830 positions from May, and 1,281 positions from a year ago. The company’s total payroll was up 7.1 percent, to 60,427.

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