Monthly mortgage originations have been growing slowly but steadily so far this year at most companies. Now some are beginning to exceed last year's monthly figures, which declined as 1994 unfolded.
Countrywide Credit Industries, for example, reported a 5% increase in fundings last month from the level of May 1994. The $2.5 billion of loans was also 20% greater than the April level.
Countrywide, based in Pasadena, Calif., also reported that its servicing portfolio had reached $121 million at May 31.
At North American Mortgage Co., originations reached $546 million in May, up 27% from April but still substantially below the $832 billion in May 1994.
May applications at North American, which is based in Santa Rosa, Calif., climbed 42% in May over the April level.
At Advanced Financial Inc., Shawnee, Kan., originations grew to $5.1 million in May, from $3.9 million in April and $1.5 million in May 1994.
In its announcement, Countrywide also hinted that it might take a writedown of its servicing portfolio for its first fiscal quarter, which ended May 31. New accounting rules require companies to write down any impairment of the value of servicing rights resulting from a decline in interest rates.
But David Loeb, chairman, said hedging gains would be available to defray any writedown. And other sources said the company would likely show a gain from putting originated servicing rights on the books under another provision of the new rules.
North American recently reported a benefit from the accounting rules that helped it escape reporting a deficit for the first quarter. But Countrywide's gigantic portfolio makes it much more vulnerable to writedowns because of impairment.