Countrywide Credit Industries said strong originations pushed its mortgage servicing portfolio to $137 billion in February, a gain of 21% from a year earlier.
Countrywide funded $3.4 billion of loans in the month, up from $1.7 billion last February. Fixed-rate loans accounted for 86% of the loan production. Mortgages to buy homes totaled $1.5 billion, up slightly from $1.4 billion in February 1995.
The Pasadena, Calif.-based lender remains the nation's largest mortgage servicer but will be displaced from the top spot when Norwest Mortgage Corp., Des Moines completes its acquisition of Prudential Home Mortgage later this year.
The delinquency rate on loans in the Countrywide servicing portfolio climbed to 3.2%, from 2.51% a year earlier. The average delinquency rate for all outstanding loans, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, is 4.24%.
Countrywide's foreclosure rate also increased - to 0.49% from 0.29%.
Prepayments in the company's servicing portfolio were at an annual rate of 15% during its fourth fiscal quarter, up from 13% the preceding quarter.
The portfolio's weighted average coupon, an indicator of vulnerability to prepayments, was 7.8% in February, up slightly from a year ago.
Daily applications increased 20% from the January level, said Angelo R. Mozilo, vice chairman, in a prepared statement.
Separately, Phoenix-based Homeplex Mortgage Investments Corp., a real estate investment trust, reported income of $1.1 million, or 11 cents per share, for 1995. That is up from a $4.5-million loss in 1994.
Income from real estate lending and from its mortgage residual interests lent to the company's profits, according to a statement of its earnings.
The company continues to explore other business strategies, the statement said, including possibly terminating its status as a real estate investment trust and the purchase of non-REIT operating companies. Such trusts do not pay corporate taxes on their earnings provided they pass most of the earnings onto their shareholders.
During the quarter ended Dec. 31, Homeplex earned $242,000, or 2 cents a share. That is in contrast to a loss of $3.16 million in the quarter a year earlier, or 33 cents a share.