Cardinal Financial Corp. in Tysons Corner, Va., on Wednesday said that third-quarter earnings rose 46% from a year earlier, to $8.6 million, due largely to improved credit trends and balance sheet growth.

The company loan-loss provision decreased 17.6% from a year earlier, to $2.9 million. Noninterest income jumped 61% from a year earlier, to $15 million, due to what the company referred to as "robust" mortgage banking activity. (Cardinal received nearly 5,000 mortgage applications during the third quarter seeking $1.9 million in loans, compared to 3,772 application for $1.3 billion in loans a year earlier.)

Net interest income grew 11% from a year earlier, to $8.6 million. Total assets increased 20% from a year earlier, to $2.6 billion; deposits grew 29%, to $1.8 billion.

Noninterest expenses rose 23% from a year earlier, to $18.9 million. Cardinal said it lost $1.8 million after prepaying $40 million in Federal Home Loan Bank advances in a move that should increase long-term savings.

The company also incurred an undisclosed amount of legal expenses tied to an issue with the Justice Department. In August, the company said that the Justice Department was weighing whether to file a complaint against Cardinal Bank and George Mason Mortgage LLC over alleged violations of the Fair Housing Credit Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

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