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Slowing Refis, Falling Delinquency Behind Many Layoffs

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When it comes to mortgage job cuts, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. A wave of layoffs in real estate finance are being driven by a decline in refinance originations and loan delinquency.

Bank of America Corp. advised the California Employment Development Department in a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification that 543 employees are being laid off on Aug. 31 in Fresno. WARN notices are required 60 days in advance of planned layoffs involving 50 or more people.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based company, which was the third-biggest mortgage servicer and originator in the second quarter, also eliminated 469 servicing jobs in Newark, N.J., on May 31, a filing with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development said.

In addition, 113 BofA mortgage servicing positions are being eliminated on Sept. 30 in the Dallas-suburb of Addison, a WARN filing with the Texas Workforce Commission said. In June, BofA notified the state of 411 other North Texas layoffs, also planned for Sept. 30.

On Sept. 4, JPMorgan Chase & Co. is laying off 435 employees in Tampa, Fla., a WARN filing said. Since that notice was filed, thousands more mortgage layoffs have been disclosed by Chase.

Chase, the second-biggest lender and servicer, filed a WARN in New York indicating that 19 Brooklyn mortgage employees are being let go on Nov. 10. A separate WARN filing indicated 35 Brooklyn jobs are being cut on Sept. 4.

Ohio’s Department of Job and Family Services was notified by Chase that 97 mortgage jobs will be eliminated on Oct. 11 in Columbus.

Chase reported to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development that it eliminated 42 servicing jobs in Iselin on Aug. 13.

In Troy, Mich., Flagstar Bank is laying off 299 people, according to a July 18 WARN filing in that state. Flagstar, the eighth-largest originator, separately said the planned layoffs are a result of a decision to outsource its non-core default servicing operation.

The Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget was notified by OneWest Bank FSB on June 17 that 168 employees are being laid off in Kalamazoo due to a “plant closing.”

The California Employment Development Department was notified by OneWest that, 78 jobs are being eliminated in Pasadena and 102 layoffs are happening in Irvine on Aug. 31. The layoffs, as well as 725 Texas job cuts disclosed on June 14, follow a June announcement that Ocwen Financial Corp. has agreed to buy mortgage servicing rights on $78 billion in loans from OneWest.

In West Sacramento, Calif., Citibank, N.A., released 153 employees on June 3, a WARN filing said. Citibank also notified the state of Illinois that 121 Danville employees were terminated on July 16, while parent Citigroup Inc. advised the New York Department of Labor that it is eliminating 36 jobs in Armonk on Nov. 7. Citi is the sixth-biggest originator and fifth-biggest servicer.

Wells Fargo & Co., which Wednesday disclosed 2,300 mortgage layoffs, notified the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity on Thursday that 95 layoffs were taking place in Jacksonville on Oct. 20. The San Francisco-based company is the nation’s largest lender and servicer.

Sixty-three previously announced Wells Fargo Home Mortgage layoffs in West Chester, Ohio, will take place on Oct. 6, a WARN filing stated.

In Boca Raton, Fla., Digital Risk Services is laying off 56 employees on Aug. 30, according to a Florida WARN filing. However, the company is adding 600 jobs in Lake Mary, Fla. Published reports indicate that the total Boca Raton layoffs, including short-term and part-time employees, are 112.

Nations Lending Corp. laid off 48 employees on June 11 in Independence, Ohio, according to a WARN filing. Slowing originations were cited as the reason.

The closing of a processing and underwriting division in Great Falls, Mont., will result in 20 job dislocations at U.S. Bank, the Great Falls Tribune reported. U.S. Bank was No. 5 on the second-quarter list of mortgage originators.

On Aug. 28, Citizens Bank is laying off 87 people in Philadelphia, a WARN filing stated.

In New York, a WARN filing indicated that 32 Depfa Bank PLC employees are being laid off on Sept. 30.

Twenty-six Capital One Bank employees will be fired in the fourth quarter in Brentwood, N.Y., a WARN filing indicated.

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