Countrywide Sees Delinquencies, Foreclosures Continue to Rise
Foreclosure activity at the nation's largest servicer continues to ratchet upward, with Countrywide Financial Corp. reporting on Friday that pending foreclosures rose 4 basis points between December and January to 1.48 percent of unpaid principal balace, according to a monthly summary posted today by the lender. Foreclosure activity is now nearly double the level it was at one year earlier, and has risen 11 of the last 12 months. Delinquencies continue to rise as well, jumping 27 basis points to 7.47 percent in January. Last year, delinquencies stood at 4.32 percent of unpaid principal balance. The company, which agreed to be acquired by Bank of America in mid-January, said that more borrowers applied for loans during the month but that fewer loans were actually funded. (Funding activity doesn't map directly to same-month applications, so the jump in applications may actually be a very good sign for the ailing lender.) Applications jumped to $2.6 billion from $1.5 billion one year earlier, while the loan pipeline bounced 45 percent in one month to close at $51 billion. Countrywide's shares closed up slightly to $6.93 on Friday in mixed trading ahead of a holiday weekend for U.S. residents. For more information, visit http://www.countrywide.com. Disclosure: The author held various positions in CFC at the time this post was published.