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Lender Lays Off, Boosts Alt-A Focus

Millennium cuts 76 jobs

March 12, 2007


photo of Coco Salazar

Market changes that were sudden, dramatic and unforeseeable have forced a primarily subprime lender in Washington to lay off 40 percent of its staff.

Millennium Funding Group spokesman Joe Bell informed MortgageDaily.com in an interview Friday that the job eliminations occurred a week earlier.

The move was "a reaction to sudden dramatic and unforeseeable changes in the mortgage industry," Bell said. "Our management team's goal is to make the correct decisions to ensure business continuity. Our hope is that the current actions will offer the greatest chance for long-term employment for our entire staff."

The 76 layoffs, which represented about 40 percent of Millennium's overall staff, encompassed sales, operations and administrative employees and primarily took place in Vancouver, Wash., according to the spokesman.

"With subprime falling out, we had to make adjustments," Bell said. "We're kind of realigning our business as more of an Alt-A lender."

About 60 percent of Millennium's 2006 business consisted of subprime loans, the rest was derived from Alt-A and conforming loans, Bell said. He did not have a figure for Millennium's annual production.

The spokesman noted the layoffs are subject to recall, as the "goal is to bring these people back within the next 6 months as we adjust our business."

Millennium represents the majority of the banking operations of Ace Mortgage Funding, which acquired Millennium last November, Bell said.

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

e-mail: [email protected]

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