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More Help Arrives for Former AHM Employees

Countrywide, Lend America hirings follow similar moves by IndyMac

August 17, 2007

By JERRY DeMUTH


Countrywide Financial Corp. has joined a growing list of entities reaching out to former employees of American Home Mortgage Investment Corp.

Both Lend America and Countrywide have begun hiring processors, underwriters, account executives and others who had worked at the now shuttered firm, which was based in Melville, N.Y.

Lend America, also based in Melville, additionally has taken on a lot of the loans that could not be funded by American Home, trying to find other lenders if the loans do not meet their own guidelines, Heidi Frigano, vice president of sales, told MortgageDaily.com.

"We have to look at them to see if we have a program that would fit if they meet our credit guidelines. We're trying to do everything we can to help the people, not only the people who lost their jobs but also people who were in the process of getting loans, especially for purchases, with American Home," said Frigano, whose new assistant, a sales liaison, had been a sales assistant at American Home.

"We've gotten quite a few employees from American Home and there's still an influx of people that are inquiring about positions here at Lend America," she said. "Every day one of our departments has an interview with a particular person."

Lend America is not looking to hire a particular number of former American Home employees, but rather all the available qualified people, she said, noting that the company loan volume in July was triple what it had been in July 2006.

"If 100 American Home employees came to me and they all were quality sales executives with a proven track record and a clean history, I would hire all 100 of them and find room for them," Frigano admitted. "That's where we're at."

She noted that Lend America has increased its staff "quite significantly" already this year, adding approximately 100 people so far, almost all at its corporate office in Melville. The only other offices it has are small ones in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, which aren't even branches, she pointed out.

Calabasas, Calif.-based Countrywide, which, in May, announced plans to add 2,000 new sales jobs this year, is hiring approximately 200 former American Home employees, according to a spokeswoman. But she was unable to provide details to MortgageDaily.com.

On Tuesday, August 14, Countrywide announced that its residential loan fundings, commercial mortgage fundings, and mortgage application activity in July were all up from July 2006. Further, its loan servicing portfolio continued to grow during that 12-month period.

IndyMac Bancorp also has been in the process of hiring hundreds of former American Home employees, a spokesman told MortgageDaily.com last week.

And New York State's Department of Labor last week announced a plan to aid unemployed workers of the real estate investment trust. The state's efforts will include a special recruiting event, career counseling and help with resume preparation. The state will also help with job placement and training assistance as well as identifying developing fields and expanding industries.

Lend America, in addition to its current efforts to hire former American Home employees, targeted former New Century Mortgage Corp. employees after that company filed for bankruptcy on April 2.

"We took over their Melville office and we hired their entire Melville staff," Frigano said.


Jerry DeMuth is an award winning journalist who has been reporting for four decades.

e-mail Jerry at [email protected]

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