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California Feels Many of Mortgage Layoffs

Recent mortgage-related layoffs

March 28, 2011


With the end of the last refinance cycle, mortgage layoffs seem to have picked up steam. Many of the casualties are in the Golden State, and banks are playing a big role in the latest round.

The U.S. Department of Labor said in January that a $1.7 million grant was made available to around 600 displaced employees of Taylor Bean and Whitaker Mortgage Corp. The employees are located in North and Central Florida. Nearly $1 million was initially released, while additional funding could become available.

"It will provide affected workers with access to dislocated worker services," the Labor Department said of the grant. "These services may include skills assessment, basic skills training, individual career counseling and occupational skills training."

Late in the fourth-quarter 2010, Freddie Mac began cutting its staff. Spokesman Doug Duvall told Mortgage Daily that no specific department was targeted in the layoffs, and he declined to say how many employees are being laid off.

"We are always looking to have the most effective and efficient staffing and organizational structure for the company to meet the changing needs of the housing market," Duvall stated.

A plan being floated to close down McLean, Va.-based Freddie and its government-controlled cousin Fannie Mae could impact all employees at both secondary lenders.

Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC laid off 905 North Highlands, Calif., employees, a WARN filing indicated. Half of the layoffs occurred on Oct. 31, and the other half were on Nov. 19.

In Des Moines, Iowa, 40 employees were terminated by Wells Fargo Financial, the Des Moines Register reported in January. While around 1,000 were initially expected to be laid off as part of the wind down of the company, only 850 were actually cut, a spokeswoman reportedly said.

In California, Wells Fargo reported that it would layoff 22 employees on Jan. 15 in Rancho Cucamonga; 101 employees on Dec. 5 in Rancho Cordova; 134 employees on Feb. 11 at Wells Fargo Mortgage Operations in Concord; 145 people on April 1 in Irvine at Wells Fargo Bank's Home Mortgage Wholesale Operations; and 101 people on Dec. 5, 2010, in Rancho Cordova at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

In Florida, Wells Fargo notified the state of 155 job cuts in Jacksonville on April 25, while Iowa was notified of 32 Des Moines layoffs on Feb. 13.

Approximately 470 positions were eliminated by Synovus in January, the Columbus, Ga.-based bank announced. Another 390 job cuts are expected in the second quarter. The layoffs are on top of 300 last year. The company expects to end this year with around 1,150 employees.

Synovus spokesman Patrick A. Reynolds ignored's request for information about how many mortgage jobs were impacted.

California was notified that State Street Bank and Trust Co. would layoff 106 people in Alameda and 124 in Irvine on April 1.

A WARN filing was made by Bank of America in California for 50 layoffs on Jan. 30, while another notice indicated 113 reductions were being made on April 25 in Florida.

Union Bank, N.A., notified the State of Washington that it was letting 72 employees go in Everett on March 31.

At U.S. Bank, 62 employees were given notice in Redwood City, Calif., a filing said. The layoffs happened on March 22.

Around 30 jobs were eliminated at a Miamisburg mortgage call center operated by PNC Mortgage Corp., a company spokesman confirmed to last month. A backup call center in Jacksonville, Fla., might see some of the work.

"While we are reducing positions in some areas, we are building in others," the spokesman said in a statement.

Fidelity National Financial Inc. plans to cut 300 corporate jobs, including 50 at its Jacksonville, Fla., headquarters, The Florida Times-Union reported in January. The layoffs were outlined by Fidelity Chief Executive Officer George Scanlon in a conference call.

Kondaur notified the State of California that it is laying off 161 employees in Orange on April 18.

Indiana was notified that Monroe Bank is laying off 59 employees on June 1.

In Butler, Pa., 57 Nextier Bank jobs were cut on Feb. 1.

Clark Summit, Pa., is the location of 21 layoffs at Community Bank & Trust on Jan. 31, a WARN filing in that state indicated.

In February, Dover Mortgage Co. said it would close all wholesale and retail operations except in 18 North Carolina counties, the Charlotte Observer reported. In all, 17 employees are impacted.

The Knoxville News-Sentinel reported in January that First Tennessee was laying off employees in East Tennessee. The number of impacted jobs was not provided.

Sam Garcia worked in mortgage lending for twenty years prior to becoming publisher of in 2000.

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