Cendant Mortgage, formerly PHH Mortgage Services, said it closed $6.94 billion of mortgages in the third quarter, up 96% from a year earlier. The rise for the first nine months of the year was more than 50%, to $18 billion.

The company, which lends through an "800" number, is part of the real estate division of Cendant Corp. of Parsippany, N.J. Cendant Corp.'s real estate businesses earned $197 million in the quarter, up 51% from last year. Mortgage revenue grew 55%, to $79.9 million.

Cendant Mortgage attributed much of the growth to its business relationships with Cendant Corp.'s realty franchises, Coldwell Banker, Century 21, and ERA. The mortgage unit also said it is hiring 200 people a month.

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