of mortgages in August, down 22% from a year earlier, the company reported Tuesday.

The nation's largest independent home lender reported average daily application volume of $375 million, down 24% from August 1998. Its pipeline of loans in process was $10.865 billion, down 17%.

Refinances represented 25% of Countrywide's total fundings last month, off from 52% in the same period last year.

The company's production of home equity loans, however, more than doubled to $438 million. Subprime production grew 33%, to $326 million. Countrywide's servicing portfolio now stands at $236 billion, up 22% from a year earlier.

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