The Office of Thrift Supervision said earlier in the week that thrift-based mortgage banking activity has continued to grow, with total mortgage origination volume reaching $194.6 billion, up 14 percent from $171.1 billion in the year-ago period and up 15 percent from $169.2 billion in the prior quarter. Reflecting this growth, thrifts originated 23.7 percent of all 1-4 family loans nationwide during the second quarter, the OTS reported, up from 22.8 percent in the previous quarter and 19.7 percent in the comparable quarter a year ago. Citing higher delinquencies in residential mortgages, however, severe delinquecies -- assets more than 90 days in arrears -- jumped 53 percent from year-ago levels. Troubled assets represented 0.95 percent of all assets during the second quarter, an increase from 0.80 in the prior quarter and 0.62 percent one year ago, the OTS said. I'd expect, FWIW, that thrift-based mortgage lending will grow at an even more accelerated rate in the quarters ahead, in spite of the troubles in the mortgage market -- the move of Countrywide alone into this sector is probably enough to offset any drop in non-conforming lending. If you want to read the full highlights, click here.