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Job additions, layoffs and employment lawsuits. Employment data from the Department of Labor, state tracking, reports and analysis. Job finding tips.

Mortgage Recruiting is Brisk

Recent recruiting activity in real estate finance

Aug. 26, 2012

By SAM GARCIA Mortgage Daily

portrait of Sam Garcia

A strong pace of office expansion has been accompanied by elevated recruiting activity at the nation's residential lenders and mortgage service providers. While demand appears concentrated in production positions -- hundreds of other mortgage-related job openings include positions in appraisals and servicing. At one Northeast firm with an active recruiting campaign, nearly half of its more than 500 total employees are loan originators.

More than 250 employees have been hired since January at New Penn Financial LLC. A July 27 statement indicated total staffing stood at 900. Hundreds of jobs are available in all business channels including retail, wholesale and correspondent.

At New Penn's main office in Plymouth Meeting, Penn., positions are available in information technology, human resources as well as in marketing and finance. Other headquarters opportunities are in operations, underwriting and sales. The Plymouth Meeting, Penn.-based company is supporting recruiting efforts through a new website located at

Staffing is expected to expand to 700 by the end of the year at Residential Finance Corp. from 500 as of June 19. A statement from the Columbus, Ohio-based company indicated that national retail branch count is expected to reach 75 by end of the year -- more than doubling from 30.

Fla. Gov. Rick Scott attended Friday's grand opening of a new facility in Tampa, Fla., operated by Indianapolis-based StreetLinks LLC, according to an announcement from Holly Duran Real Estate Partners LLC, which negotiated the lease. The 77,000 square-foot expansion doubles the appraisal management company's Florida presence.

StreetLinks Chief Executive Officer Steve Haslam said growth continues to be steady. The firm, a Mortgage Daily advertiser, already employs 190 people in the Tampa Bay area and expects to recruit another 300 people during the next three years. Scripps Media Inc. reported this month that 50 positions are open at the new location and 100 employees were recently hired.

Headcount at Stearns Lending Inc. has grown from 1,064 as of May 2 to more than 1,200 as of July and nearly 1,300 now.

More than a hundred people are being hiring at a new Solidifi Inc. office in Amherst, N.Y., Solidifi Executive Vice President Loren L. Cooke said in an e-mailed statement.

Around 75 people were hired at Mortgage Master during the first half of 2012, the Walpole, Mass.-based lender reported on June 20. Staffing stands at 550 people, including more than 250 loan officers. Earlier this month, Mortgage Master raised its projection for 2012 production to $7 billion from the $6.5 billion projected in June.

The second-quarter saw 66 staff additions at Nationwide Title Clearing Inc. The hirings included account management roles, technology jobs and entry level positions. A news release indicated that local staffing at its Palm Harbor, Fla., headquarters is nearly 300.

Centennial, Colo., is the location of a second national operations center for FBC Mortgage LLC. The Orlando, Fla.-based company, which reports that it is on track to fund more than $1 billion through its retail residential loan channel in 2012, recruited Ellison Brimage as the operations manager. Initial hirings total 50 experienced mortgage professionals.

"When we found out that someone with Ellison's experience was available we knew it was time to pull the plug and get our West Coast expansion started," the statement said. "Initially the West Coast Office will house an expanded operations staff; however, eventually this office will also be a full service retail mortgage division of FBC so we can serve consumers on the West Coast as well."

An announcement last month indicated that iServe Residential Lending opened a new office in Stamford, Conn., that will house 50 employees. Loan officers, branch managers and operational personnel are being recruited in Connecticut and in other parts of the country.

The addition of 22 credit unions as clients of CU Members Mortgage generated demand for nearly 48 new team members during the past year. CU Members Vice President Matthew Abbink said in a news release that the surge of business that prompted the recruiting has continued. The Dallas-based subsidiary of Colonial Savings said it originates more than $2 billion in FHA, VA and conventional home loans annually for a thousand credit unions and services $15 billion in mortgages.

Thirty employees have been recruited for new branches in Tennessee and Mississippi at Churchill Mortgage. The Brentwood, Tenn.-based lender previously reported that national staffing has grown to 260 people as of June 30 from 240 as the end of last year. Churchill announced in May that nine loan originators were hired in Tennessee and three were recruited for Texas.

The Irving City Council approved at a June 7 city council meeting an economic incentive agreement between Nationstar Mortgage LLC and the Dallas suburb. While Nationstar spokesman Marshall Murphy declined to comment on planned hirings, the Dallas Business Journal reported that 800 jobs are being brought by Nationstar to the former MetLife Home Loans space. Over the next five years, total new Nationstar jobs in North Texas are expected to reach 2,000.

U.S. Bank Home Mortgage said in July 2010 that it planned to add 500 mortgage servicing jobs in Owensboro, Ky., by 2013. But the company has already hired 540 people, the Messenger Inquirer reported.

PHH Corp. is hiring 800 employees to support increased mortgage originations, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported on June 1. Mount Laurel, N.J., where PHH maintains its headquarters, will be the location for 360 of the new recruits.

First Preferred Mortgage Co. has hired 250 people in Michigan during the prior 12 months, a June 14 article from Metromode said. Total staffing stood at 375 people.

Shelley Freeman, regional president for Wells Fargo & Co.'s Florida community bank, reportedly told Miami Today that it is hiring 200 bankers in Florida during the next year. As of June 30, 2011, South Florida staffing stood at 5,300, including 260 at the Wells Fargo Center in downtown Miami.

Openings at regional banks in the Dayton, Ohio, totaled nearly 600 -- including 230 at U.S. Bank, 140 at Fifth Third, 45 at PNC and 30 at Huntington Bank, the Dayton Daily News reported on June 30. Some of the opportunities include mortgage loan officers and servicers.

Chase employs 2,100 people in Wisconsin, the Journal Sentinel reported on Aug. 4. Mortgage originations last year in the state were $2.3 billion.

Sam Garcia founded Mortgage Daily in 1998 and became its full-time publisher in 2000. Prior to his news career he worked in mortgage lending for two decades.

[email protected]

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