PASADENA, Calif. -- Countrywide Credit Industries said it plans to sell servicing rights on $5.9 billion of fixed-rate home loans. Fleet Mortgage Group of Columbia, S.C., announced separately that it was the buyer.

"Increasing buyer demand has greatly improved the prices bid on large portfolios," said David S. Loeb, chairman of Countrywide.

No price was announced, but recent deals have been priced at 1.3% to 1.4% of the balances in the portfolio. This suggests a tag of about $80 million.

Mr. Loeb said the gain from the sale would offset the effects of declining production volume and higher hedging costs for the servicing portfolio. Countrywide, the No. 1 mortgage lender, recently passed the $100 billion mark in servicing, so it is selling about 6% of that asset.

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