Residential Capital Corp./GMAC earned $217 million in the first quarter, but its residential originations plummeted by 53%, as the near-closing of its correspondent division weighed heavily.

The Ally Financial mortgage unit funded $8.6 billion of home mortgages during the quarter, compared to $18.4 billion in 4Q11. Industrywide originations fell by about 10% from 4Q11 to 1Q12 but nowhere as much as ResCap’s decline.

In a just-released 8-K report, Ally cited the “reduction” in correspondent lending as the chief cause.

ResCap recently missed a bond payment and could be forced into bankruptcy, depending on what the bond holders committee wants to do. Ally is 74% owned by the U.S. government via the Treasury Department.

ResCap/GMAC posted net servicing revenue of $290 million compared to $166 million in 4Q. In the year ago period servicing revenue totaled $225 million.

Ally also increased the MSR value of its mortgage unit by $9 million.

Over the past year the bank has been reducing costs at ResCap, including a steep reduction in correspondent production and the closing of a mortgage trading desk.

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