New York Community Bancorp Inc. in Westbury, N.Y., on Wednesday reported that third-quarter earnings were virtually flat from a quarter earlier, at $119.8 million.

The $42 billion-asset company said that loan growth, increased mortgage banking income and continued improvement in asset quality contributed to its profitable quarter.

Total loans increased 3% from a quarter earlier, to $29.9 billion. Lower interest rates spurred an increase in mortgage applications, the company said in a press release. Originations of one-to-four family loans rose 57% from the second quarter, to $1.8 billion.

Nonperforming loans not covered by loss-sharing agreements with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. fell 17% from the second quarter, to $416.8 million. Such loans totaled 1.4% of total loans.

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