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Wisconsin Lender Closing, 100 Losing Jobs

Universal Mortgage Corp. closing

May 4, 2010

By MortgageDaily.com staff


A Wisconsin company that recently ended wholesale operations is now throwing in the towel on retail business. Around 100 employees are impacted from the company's upcoming closing.

On April 23, Universal Mortgage Corp. issued a bulletin to its mortgage brokers indicating that it would halt new registrations immediately, cease approving mortgage loans after April 23 and stop funding loans after April 30.

No reason was given for the move.

Yesterday, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development received a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notice from the Mequon, Wis.-based firm.

"Universal Mortgage Corp. is undertaking a business closing of its Universal Mortgage Corp. corporate headquarters facility located at 12080 N. Corporate Parkeway, Mequon, Wis.," the filing said. "The business closing will be permanent."

The 42-year-old company explained in the filing that it had actively been seeking capital or a sale and believed until recently that it would be successful.

"Unfortunately, those efforts have proved unavailing, necessitating the immediate commencement of the business closing."

The closing process will begin on May 15 and continue through the end of the month, according to Universal, which said it operated 25 production offices located in 11 states through its retail, wholesale and correspondent lines. It reportedly served borrowers in 39 states.

Around 56 servicing employees will be laid off as a result of the closing. While the exact timing of the servicing layoffs wasn't known, "it could be as early as May 31."

Including other impacted positions, 100 employees will be terminated, beginning with 15 on May 15.

WARN filings are required at least 60 days in advance of planned layoffs. But Universal skipped the required advance notice because it "believed that giving these employees earlier notice would have absolutely precluded any hope Universal Mortgage had of obtaining the needed capital or securing a buyer."

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