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WMC Laying Off

WMC Laying Off

450 jobs cut Thursday

March 9, 2007

By COCO SALAZAR

photo of Coco Salazar
WMC Mortgage has reduced its workforce by one-fifth to adjust to cyclical changes in the real estate finance market.

The nonprime wholesale lender laid off about 450 employees yesterday, which represented about 20 percent of its staff. The job cuts were spread nationally “as necessary to align ourselves correctly for the industry,” WMC spokeswoman Brandie Young told MortgageDaily.com.

“This industry is very cyclical and very fluid,” she said. “Lenders, as a whole, are constantly reviewing a number of strategies,” including in staff and loan programs they offer, and are “realigning resources to be consistent with today’s market.”

In addition to the layoffs, WMC has ceased making loans with no down payment and has made some adjustments relating to credit score guidelines, according to Young.

The spokeswoman noted most lenders are moving away from 100 percent loans but declined to confirm whether the company stopped making loans for consumers with credit scores below 600, citing that “there are some changes going through our guidelines that have not been completed at this moment.”

Burbank, Calif.-based WMC, a subsidiary of General Electric, originates first and second residential mortgages for borrowers who require flexibility, according to its Web site.

WMC’s mortgage production, which includes subprime and Alt-A loans, grew from the previous year to $33 billion in 2006, Young said.


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