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Countrywide: 1 in 3 subprime mortgages delinquent

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Countrywide Financial Corp CFC.N, the largest U.S. mortgage lender, on Tuesday said more than one in three subprime mortgages were delinquent at year-end in the $1.48 billion portfolio of home loans it services.

Countrywide said borrowers were delinquent on 33.64 percent of subprime loans it serviced as of December 31, up from 29.08 percent in September. It also said borrowers were at least 90 days late on payments on 17.25 percent of subprime mortgages.

The rate of late payments rose to 7.32 percent at year end from 5.76 percent on prime home equity loans, and to 5.76 percent from 4.41 percent on conventional first mortgages, Countrywide said. For all loans, the delinquency rate rose to 8.64 percent from 7.12 percent, it said.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick