The nation's largest home lender Countrywide Financial Corporation said it plans to cut up to 12,000 jobs, 20 percent of it's workforce, over the next three months. Most of the job cuts will take place in areas most affected by lower origination volumes. Countrywide said that it expects its 2008 loan originations to be about 25% lower than 2007.

Countrywide also stated that it will continue the migration of its residential lending unit into its thrift entity, Countrywide Bank, giving the company more stable liquidity, reduced borrowing costs and greater operational efficiencies. The company expects nearly all residential loan production to be originated by the bank by September 30, 2007.

"We are taking decisive action to ensure that Countrywide continues to be well-positioned for further success," said Angelo Mozilo, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "As we carry out our plan, the Company's overarching focus is exactly where it has always been: to remain an industry leader in the U.S. residential lending business, to deliver value and world-class service to our customers and business partners, to enhance shareholder value, and to provide career opportunities for our people."

"Each employee at Countrywide is considered an important member of the Countrywide family," said David Sambol, President and Chief Operating Officer. "While workforce reductions are therefore always very difficult, these decisions are being made with the utmost attention and sensitivity to the impact they will have on our Company and our people."

Countrywide stock fell sharply on the news in early trading Monday. The stock was down nearly 6 percent to $17.20 per share.