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Mortgage firms are hiring, and many of the positions being filled are in mortgage servicing. But an increase in refinance volume is also raising the demand for production personnel.

Jacksonville, Fla., is among cities that JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s home lending division is considering for a new site that will house 250 full-time mortgage servicing jobs, according to a legislative fact sheet from the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission. The city is competing with locations in Ohio and Texas. The jobs pay an average wage of $53,000. In connection with a potential deal, ordinance 2011-662 was presented on Oct. 11.

Chase already employs more than 14,573 people in Florida, including 3,800 servicing employees in Jacksonville.

In Ohio, Chase said in April that it was looking to fill as many as a thousand mortgage jobs in the Columbus area.

The Columbus Dispatch reported in September that as many as 670 of the openings had been filled, and another 450 were still open. The New York-based company already has more than 17,000 employees in the area.

Headcount at Wingspan Portfolio Advisors has grown to nearly 500 employees, Founder and Chief Executive Officer Steve Horne said in an interview during September. Staffing has grown from just 300 employees as of February.

Many of the employees work at the company’s headquarters in Carrollton, Texas, though around 20 work from their homes in various parts of the country, Horne said.

Around 249 mortgage jobs are currently open at Wells Fargo & Co. Sales jobs account for around 124 of the positions, while 110 are in credit and 15 are in operations. The openings are in several states, though there is a concentration in Minnesota where it reportedly employs 20,000 people.

Wells Fargo said in August that it was recruiting 90 employees in the Minneapolis area to handle elevated refinance activity.

Published reports indicate that U.S. Bancorp was recruiting 170 mortgage servicing employees in August for a St. Louis facility, though spokeswoman Lisa Clark ignored a request to confirm this. The total St. Louis staff for the bank sat at around 3,750.

Caliber Funding LLC currently has 39 job openings in several states including California, Florida, Illinois and Texas. The openings at Irving, Texas-based Caliber, which is backed by Lone Star Funds, include a variety of jobs in loan production.

Caliber Funding Chief Executive Officer Brian Simon reportedly told National Mortgage News in September that he hoped to hire more than a hundred loan originators over the following few months.

A news release last month from Mortgage Network Inc. indicated it is recruiting online at In response to a request for details about the hirings, Mortgage Network Executive Vice President Brian Koss explained that nine loan officers were recently hired, and “We expect to double or triple this market and on the East Coast.”

Koss added, “As opposed to the larger companies who look to hire armies, we are looking for the best according to our standards.”

The mortgage staff at First Internet Bancorp recently doubled to 16 as the Indianapolis company added seven account representatives and a second division manager, according to an Aug. 25 announcement. The staff additions were made as the company sees “unprecedented growth in its mortgage lending business.”

Orange County, Calif. — once the epicenter of the subprime mortgage industry — added 100 mortgage jobs during August, the Orange County Register reported.

Ginnie Mae President Ted Tozer hopes to expand his staff from 88 full-time employees to 103 by Sept. 30, 2012, National Mortgage News reported.

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