Revenue increased $1.2 billion from the fourth quarter of 2012 to $1.7 billion due to a $2.9 billion reduction in representations and warranties provision, partially offset by a $1.1 billion decline in servicing revenue reflecting lower Mortgage Servicing Rights (MSR) net-of-hedge performance and a smaller servicing portfolio, as well as a decline in core production revenue.
CRES first-mortgage originations declined 46 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012, reflecting a corresponding decline in the overall market demand for mortgages. Core production revenue declined in the fourth quarter of 2013 to $403 million from $986 million in the year-ago quarter due to lower volume as well as a reduction in margins resulting from the continued industrywide margin compression over the past year. The provision for representations and warranties declined to $70 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 from $3.0 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012, which included the Fannie Mae settlements mentioned above.
The provision for credit losses decreased $959 million from the year-ago quarter to a benefit of $474 million, driven primarily by increased home prices and improved portfolio trends.
Noninterest expense decreased $1.8 billion from the year-ago quarter to $3.8 billion, due to the IFR expense in the year-ago quarter mentioned above, as well as lower LAS default-related servicing expenses as a result of continued staff reductions and lower assessments, waivers and similar costs related to foreclosure delays. These improvements were partially offset by a $522 million increase in litigation expense in LAS from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the fourth quarter of 2013.A significant contributor to the year-over-year expense reduction was the improvement in the number of 60+ days delinquent first-mortgage loans serviced by LAS, which fell 58 percent to 325,000 loans from 773,000 loans at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012.
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