Countrywide Financial Corp (CFC) on Thursday said September mortgage lending fell 44.3 percent from a year earlier as it tightened underwriting standards, even as delinquencies surged.

Mortgage loan fundings totaled $21.2 billion, down from $38.1 billion a year earlier. Fundings of adjustable-rate mortgages slid 76 percent, while "nonprime" loan fundings tumbled 92 percent.

Delinquencies as a percentage of unpaid principal balances rose to 5.85 percent from 4.04 percent a year earlier, Countrywide said.