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Layoffs at Bear Units

Layoffs at Bear Units

Two mortgage operations centers shuttered

August 17, 2007

By COCO SALAZAR

photo of Coco Salazar
In addition to market conditions, e-mortgage technology led Bear Stearns Companies Inc. to layoff hundreds of mortgage employees this week.

Bear closed two mortgage operations centers and reduced staff by 240 on Wednesday, Bear spokeswoman Renu Aldrich told MortgageDaily.com today.

About 140 of the affected employees worked for Bear Stearns Residential Mortgage Corp., which closed a facility in King of Prussia, Penn.

The other 100 were employees of Irvine, Calif.-based Encore Credit, which shuttered a center in Glenn Allen, Va.

“In the normal course of business, Bear Stearns Residential Mortgage Corporation and Encore Credit evaluate market conditions and staffing levels in an effort to identify areas where we can eliminate redundancies and improve the efficiency of our operations,” the parent company said in an e-mail statement. “In addition, the expansion of our paperless origination system enables us to more efficiently serve our customers from a central location. As a result we have made the decision to reduce our staffing levels and close two operation centers.

The layoffs were spread throughout the two subsidiaries’ facilities, with some occurring at the closed centers, Aldrich said. Bear declined to disclose the number of remaining mortgage operations centers for Encore and Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Bear Stearns Residential.

Bear mortgage servicing subsidiary EMC Mortgage Corp. announced 250 job additions planned for a Dallas-area servicing site by Sept. 2008. At the time, EMC said it has hired nearly 1,000 employees over the past seven years and employed 1,900 company wide.

The latest actions come on the heels of bankruptcy filings by two Bear hedge funds that invested heavily in subprime mortgage derivatives. Following Bear’s disclosure of the troubled hedge funds, a series of other domestic and international hedge funds have suspended investor withdrawals.


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