Countrywide Credit Industries Inc said it funded $4.1 billion of mortgage loans in October and had a pipeline of $8.8 billion of loan applications in progress at month's end.

The mortgage bank's loan production was off 51% from October 1998, when a refinancing boom drove volume higher. In its monthly release, the company contrasted its performance this year to that of 1994, the last time a refinancing bust hurt the industry; it said a diversification of its business is helping it weather the storm better this time.

"The overall market, as well as Countrywide, are significantly different today," said Stan Kurland, the chief operating officer. "Interest rates have not risen as much or as fast as they did in 1994. Excess capacity and price competition, though apparent, present much less of a concern to lenders now.

"Countrywide itself is a much larger, better-balanced company today," Mr. Kurland said. "The servicing portfolio is $242 billion today, compared to $104 billion in October 1994."

The company reported that refinancing represented 24% of total fundings; that proportion was 60% in October 1998.

Fixed-rate loan production was $3.4 billion, compared with $8.1 billion a year earlier. Countrywide said it funded $3.1 billion to finance home purchases, off from $3.4 billion in October 1998.

The company said its funding of home equity loans rose to $274 million, from $246 million in October 1998, and that subprime loan funding activity increased to $316 million, from $248 million.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.