Wachovia Corp., acting on plans to expand origination of option adjustable-rate mortgages, is seeking to fill hundreds of Texas positions.
World Savings held a job fair last week in San Antonio to boost its mortgage processing center staff, Wachovia spokesman Joe Stroop told MortgageDaily.com.
World, which was recently acquired by Wachovia Corp., is looking for mortgage loan consultants and assistants, loan closing specialists, mortgage loan representatives, underwriters and managers, he said.
The processing center campus, which handles all of World's operations, currently employs 3,478 employees, Stroop said. Once hiring is finished, people employed at the processing center will total about 4,000.
The campus currently consists of 10 buildings totaling 840,000 square feet, Stroop said. Plans call for a 100,000 square feet 11th building to house up to 600 employees.
"We're the fifth largest employer in San Antonio, just because of that processing center," he said.
The job additions help fulfill Wachovia's aggressive plans to boost its option-ARM originations.
Wachovia CEO Ken Thompson said at a recent Citigroup investor conference the company expected to have 1,000 employees selling option ARM products by year's end.
"Even in a down market for mortgages and even in a market that has been particularly brutal for option arms versus fixed rate mortgages, with that added distribution in 2007 we will produce more (option arm loans) than Golden West produced in 2006," Thompson said.
Stroop told MortgageDaily.com that World is the "best in the world" at originating the "pick-a-pay" ARM, which was one of the factors that attracted Wachovia to the World acquisition.
"It's a really high quality mortgage portfolio," he said. "I know that the option ARM has had a bad rap, (but) that is not the way it has been handled by World Savings -- they are a model for how to do it."
Both World and Wachovia will continue to originate prime mortgages with World's focus on the option ARM, Stroop said.
He confirmed that by the year's end World will take on the Wachovia brand.