February 15, 2008 / 1:20 PM / 12 years ago

Countrywide says foreclosure rate at new record

NEW YORK, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Countrywide Financial Corp CFC.N, the largest U.S. mortgage lender, said on Friday foreclosures and late payments rose in January to the highest on record, reflecting the nation’s deepening housing and credit crunch.

The foreclosure rate for the 9.02 million mortgages on which Countrywide collects and processes payments roughly doubled to 1.48 percent from 0.77 percent a year earlier, and rose from December’s 1.44 percent. The delinquency rate rose to 7.47 percent of unpaid balances from 4.32 percent a year earlier, and rose from December’s 7.20 percent.

Countrywide also said it funded $21.9 billion of home loans in January, down 41 percent from $37.1 billion a year earlier, and 6 percent from December’s $23.4 billion.

Calabasas, California-based Countrywide agreed last month to be acquired by Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) in a transaction originally valued at about $4 billion. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Dave Zimmerman)

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