Countrywide Financial said Tuesday it lost $893 million in the first quarter, as rising loan defaults amid a deepening housing downturn...

Share story

LOS ANGELES — Countrywide Financial said Tuesday it lost $893 million in the first quarter, as rising loan defaults amid a deepening housing downturn forced the nation’s largest mortgage lender and servicer to sharply increase its provision for loan losses and book other credit-related charges.

The latest results marked the third consecutive quarterly loss for Countrywide, which reaped a windfall during the housing boom but has been struggling since last summer.

Countrywide, which agreed in January to sell itself to Bank of America for about $4 billion in stock, did not conduct an earnings conference call with analysts, citing the proposed sale.

Countrywide shares rose 2 cents, less than a percent, to $5.85 Tuesday after falling as low as $5.63 earlier in the session. Its shares are down sharply from their 52-week high of $42.24.