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WaMu Cut Appraisal Jobs

350 employees given notice

July 14, 2006


photo of Coco Salazar

Hundreds of home loan employees were laid off at Washington Mutual Inc.

The Seattle-based thrift Thursday notified 350 people their jobs will be eliminated, spokeswoman Olivia Riley said.

The affected employees primarily work within the residential appraisal group in several locations across the country and will be laid off by November, she added.

"We've decided to use vendors for residential appraisal order and review activity," Riley said.

The move is part of the cost-cutting plan WaMu announced last November to help the company operate more efficiently and follows a string of layoffs at the thrift.

Last February, 10 mortgage processing centers were closed, resulting in 2,500 layoffs.

In May, 250 correspondent lending jobs were cut in South Carolina. A few weeks later, WaMu laid off 1,400 call center employees in Florida and Washington, noting most of the functions would be outsourced to the Philippines.

The initiative to outsource the appraisal functions includes "real estate consolidation, relocating some support functions to lower-cost markets," as well as increasing the company's use of offshore support and "eliminating jobs where needed to match capacity with current and anticipated market conditions," Riley said in an e-mail statement.

In addition to the 350 home loan employees, 550 non-financial retail employees received notices Thursday their positions would be cut.

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

e-mail: [email protected]

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