Countrywide Credit Industries is said to be negotiating deals with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in which it would promise specific chunks of its business to the secondary market giants.
Analysts said the talks follow deals by Norwest Mortgage and BankAmerica Mortgage to sell most of their loans to a single secondary market buyer, Freddie Mac.
The earlier deals put Countrywide, the nation's second-largest mortgage lender, in a good position to play the two government-sponsored enterprises against each other for the most beneficial deal, analysts said. "If Fannie does not want to give up its market share, there are concessions they'll have to make to their largest customers who look at the Norwest deal and say 'we want that too,'" said Mark L. Constant, an analyst at Merrill Lynch Global Securities.
Freddie granted concessions to Norwest and Bank of America to use their own automated underwriting systems.