August, the company disclosed in its 13-month statistical data, released Friday.

Most of the layoffs were in Countrywide's wholesale and retail lending divisions, which were cut by 12% and 7%, respectively.

A Countrywide spokesman said the company is continuing "to maintain the proper staffing infrastructure necessary to be competitive in the current marketplace." He said that even as the company has laid off employees, it has continued to hire sales personnel to hunt for mortgage opportunities.

This was the third big round of layoffs this year at the nation's largest home lender. Lower production volumes, the result of rising interest rates, have led many mortgage companies to reduce head count; Bank of America recently slashed 720 employees, or 11% of its mortgage work force.

-- Marc Hochstein

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