Industry News

Countrywide rushes out December numbers

Loan fundings up, but so are delinquencies, foreclosures

As rumors of an impending bankruptcy continued to hammer the company's stock, Countrywide Financial Corp. published statistics on December loan production a few days earlier than expected. The report -- which showed better-than-forecast loan fundings of $23.5 billion but a continuing rise in delinquencies and foreclosures in Countrywide's $1.5 trillion servicing portfolio -- failed to calm investors, with the lender's stock falling nearly 15 percent in early afternoon trading Wednesday. That follows a nearly 30 percent drop in Countrywide shares on Tuesday, after the company was forced to issue a statement denying rumors that it would declare bankruptcy (see Inman News story). In a statement accompanying the release of the December numbers, Countrywide Financial President and Chief Operating Officer David Sambol said the fourth quarter ended with "a number of positive operational trends. He said management "is pleased with the progress we have made in positioning the comp...