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Waterfield Shedding Hundreds of Jobs

Waterfield Shedding Hundreds of Jobs

AZ, CO & IL facilities closing

February 8, 2006

By COCO SALAZAR

photo of Coco Salazar
The sale of Waterfield Financial Corp. will result in hundreds of mortgage-related layoffs.

Waterfield Mortgage Co. recently announced it will close its mortgage operations centers in Lakewood, Colo., Phoenix, Ariz., and Oak Brook, Ill, and its operations center in Fort Wayne, Ind., by the end of this quarter.

The shutdowns are related to the decision by Waterfield and subsidiary Union Federal Bank of Indianapolis to sell Waterfield Financial to American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. in a deal expected to close this month.

Waterfield Chairman and Chief Executive, Donald A. Sherman, said the company was no longer able to grow with its current capital constraints in the current market and regulatory environment and continue to meet shareholders’ expectations for liquidity.

“The decision to sell our mortgage origination company was a difficult one,” he said in the announcement. “Given the degree of complexities involved and that the mortgage business is becoming increasingly competitive and capital intensive, the Board of Directors decided on a sale.”

Waterfield also said it reached a tentative agreement to sell its servicing portfolio to an undisclosed buyer.

Quantum Settlement Services, the title, closing and appraisal company of Waterfield, will close early in the second quarter.

The closings will result in the elimination of about 850 mortgage employees companywide, spokeswoman Lisa Grote told MortgageDaily.com. At least 650 of those positions will be from Fort Wayne, according to the announcement. The employees will receive a severance package and outplacement services.

Sherman noted that Waterfield’s “sales teams will have the opportunity to be part of American Home Mortgage’s growing network of mortgage originators.”

Waterfield will retain approximately 400 retail and wholesale division employees, with most of the attrition taking place at the home office in Fort Wayne, where most of its servicing, operations and processing support staff is located. However, American Home will make the ultimate determinations regarding staffing in this area, the announcement said.

Waterfield reportedly operates 46 retail, wholesale and correspondent production branches in 16 states.


Coco Salazar is an assistant editor and staff writer for MortgageDaily.com.e-mail: MortgageWriter@aol.com

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