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CA Job Cuts Deepen

Mortgage layoffs reported to state

May 14, 2007


photo of Coco Salazar

Mortgage related layoffs in the Golden State are continuing at an ugly pace.

The job cuts are reflected in the Workers Adjustment and Retraining Act filings made to the California Economic Development Department.

ResMae Mortgage Corp. will complete laying off 198 employees on May 19, of which 185 will occur in Brea and the remainder in Walnut Creek, according to the department. The wholesale lender cited closure in giving notice of the job eliminations toward the end of March. In early March, Citadel Investment Group LLC had agreed to pay approximately $22 million to acquire certain assets and satisfy certain liabilities of ResMae after the company had filed bankruptcy.

WMC-GEMB Mortgage Corp. will contribute a total 256 layoffs in California. Eighty-six of these will become effective May 21 in Costa Mesa after 29 were laid off there and the other 150 occurred at the Burbank headquarters on May 7. The nonprime wholesaler announced layoff actions that impacted at least 1,221 employees company wide and included office closings in San Ramon and Costa Mesa.

A total of 1,590 layoffs in California at ACC Capital Holdings Inc. will become effective on May 25. The notice to the state was reportedly made a week after the company disclosed "a reduction in its workforce across all lines of business" and consolidation of its operations, but declined to disclose the number of employees affected. Orange holds 1,051 of the layoffs, Rancho Cordova another 263, Mather 122, Irvine 100, and Anaheim only three, according to the filing.

At Homecomings Financial LLC, 313 San Diego employees were laid off on May 4. The department said it received notice of the job cuts on Valentine's Day, about a month after parent Residential Capital LLC first announced it would cut most of the 800 planned reductions in the first half of the year and not fill 200 open positions.

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage laid off 71 in Concord on April 20, which were part of 320 workers the company decided to terminate after revising its subprime guidelines in February. South Carolina holds the other laid off workers.

Washington Mutual cut 50 employees in Stockton on April 16 and 100 workers in Chatsworth at the end of March, the state reported. The Stockton employees were amongst the 250 employees who supported Long Beach Mortgage loan fulfillment activity and received layoff notices in February.

April also held Countrywide Home Loans' staff reduction of 59 in West Hills. Early in the year, Countrywide cut 59 employees in Anaheim, according to the filing.

First Financial NLC Financial Services LLC laid off 113 employees in Orange on March 30, according to the agency. A few weeks earlier, parent Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group Inc. said it would explore strategic alternatives to maximize the value of the nonconforming mortgage unit, which had "undertaken significant additional cost restructuring initiatives" and "substantially modified its loan guidelines" that would result in "meaningfully lower origination volumes in the near-term in addition to greater loan values."

On March 15, 50 people in Orange lost their jobs when Master Financial Inc. closed, according to the state.

The first quarter reportedly also saw 36 layoffs by Express Capital Lending at Newport Beach, where it is based. Express is an Alt-A mortgage lender, specializing in nonconforming products, according to its Web site.

Fremont Investment & Loan reportedly had 62 California layoffs on March 5, or three days after announcing its decision to exit subprime lending and a cease and desist order by federal regulators.

Homeview Lending Inc., a subprime and Alt-A lender, eliminated 21 position at its base in Lake Forest, the filing indicated.

It appears that of the 350 layoffs NovaStar Financial Inc. announced in March across three states, 56 were in Lake Forest, Calif., the data indicate.

E-LOAN Inc. eliminated 34 positions in Pleasanton on March 11 after giving notice of the layoffs on Jan. 12, a few days after parent Popular Inc. said it would cut 627 jobs as part of a restructuring and integration plan that would also hold its exit from wholesale nonprime originating early in the first quarter.

On Jan. 5, Wachovia Corp. reportedly laid off 101 employees in San Leandro.

A MortgageDaily.com analysis released April 30 indicated 7,364 year-to-date layoffs in California were offset by about 450 hirings. Some of the latest numbers were included in the analysis.

Coco Salazar is an associate editor and staff writer for MortgageDaily.com.

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