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Mortgage Employment DailyRecent mortgage hirings and firings

Feb. 10, 2009

By staff

As banking institutions lay off thousands of employees — temporary staffing agencies, mortgage service providers and some lenders are hiring.JPMorgan Chase Bank filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification with California’s Employment Development Department indicating it planned to layoff 2,800 employees this year in Chatsworth, Irvine, Pleasanton, San Francisco and Stockton. Around 1,892 of the job cuts will occur in the first quarter, while 417 layoffs will happen in the second quarter and 129 will be made in the third quarter. Fourth-quarter layoffs are estimated at 362.

A Chase spokesman indicated that most of the jobs at the Pleasanton facility are tied to credit card, though some are also related to bank branch telephone banking and operations. He wasn’t immediately available to comment on layoffs at the other locations.

Around 50 layoffs at Bank of America Corp. are slated for Simi Valley on March 7, a California WARN filing said. A BoA spokesman confirmed that the layoffs were mortgage-related.

But 65 layoffs on March 10 at a Concord, Calif., location, are not mortgage-related, the BoA spokesman said.

Both rounds are tied to the 7,500 positions that BoA said last year that it planned to eliminate over the next two years as part of its acquisition of Countrywide.

Citi filed a WARN notice with Illinois indicated 51 employees were laid off in Elgin.

Between 15 and 25 top-producing originators are expected to be added during the next few months at HomeBanc, an announcement last week said. The hirings will double the staff at the Tampa-based bank’s mortgage unit — which expects mortgage applications to surge during the upcoming months.

HomeBanc, which reported 2008 residential originations of $100 million, has experienced a “dramatic pick up in the volume of applications currently in the pipeline,” Charles Richardson, president of HomeBanc’s mortgage unit, said in the statement. Its program offerings include FHA and non-traditional jumbo.

Huntington Bancshares Inc. disclosed last week 500 planned layoffs throughout six states beginning next month. The layoffs, which work out to 5 percent of its workforce, are part of a $100 million cost-cutting measure to address current market challenges.

A spokeswoman declined to specify how many mortgage jobs are impacted.

Huntington, which reported a $418 million fourth-quarter loss, also plans to freeze salaries at last year’s levels and halt company matches to employee 401(k) accounts in an effort to reduce the number of layoffs.

Aerotek is looking to fill around 125 contract mortgage positions in the Richmond, Va., region, the company told in a statement today. Among the available jobs are mortgage processors, closers and loan funders. In addition, the company is also searching for loan reviewers and loss mitigation specialists.

While Aerotek is also filling positions in other areas of the country, the company was unable to provide national numbers.

Mortgage Contracting Services, which provides property preservation and inspection services, said last week that it increased its employee base last year by 73 percent. The employee additions primarily took place in Tampa, Fla., and Dallas — though the Tampa-based company also has staff in Des Moines, Iowa, Cincinnati and Austin, Texas.

StreetLinks National Appraisal Services plans to add 320 positions during the next three years, an announcement last week from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation said. Current headcount at the facility stands at around 70. The added employees will be housed in a newly expanded 30,000 square-feet office in Indianapolis. Among the hirings are operations associates and managers.

“The dramatic increase in our business necessitated adding both staffing and space,” said StreetLinks Chief Executive Officer Steve Haslam said in the announcement.

UBS said today it cut 1,782 positions during the fourth quarter. The Switzerland-based institution said it plans to reduce headcount at its investment bank to 15,000. In November, UBS said it only planned to reduce headcount to 17,000 — suggesting 2,000 additional layoffs are planned.

The San Francisco Housing Authority notified the state of California in a WARN filing that it would eliminate 73 San Francisco jobs this month.

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