Washington Mutual lays off 2,500 workers

February 16, 2006

Mortgage lender to close 10 loan centers


Inman News

Continuing a series of mortgage industry layoff announcements, Washington Mutual Wednesday said it would close 10 of its 26 home-loan processing centers, eliminating 2,500 jobs.

Washington Mutual, the third-largest U.S. mortgage lender by total volume in 2004, said the cuts represent about 4 percent of a workforce of 60,000 at the Seattle-based savings and loan.

Other home-loan specialists, including Countrywide Financial Corp. in Calabasas and Ameriquest Mortgage Co. in Orange, have reported the effects of the mortgage market slowed. Loan production at Countrywide was $33 billion in January, compared to $44 billion in December.

In a statement, Washington Mutual said the move in part reflected its effort to better match its processing capacity to "current and anticipated mortgage market conditions." The lender recently reported that mortgage revenue were down in the fourth quarter 47 percent from the third quarter

Work volumes from the impacted locations will be shifted to 16 remaining Washington Mutual home loan support offices, including Irvine, Calif.; suburban Chicago; and Jacksonville, Fla., the company said. The job reductions announced Wednesday will be partially offset by new hiring at these locations.

While Washington Mutual "continues to drive efficiency through consolidation of support service locations and other initiatives," the company said, it will also execute strategies designed to fuel profitable growth, including increasing the number of locations dedicated to sales and customer service. Last week, the company confirmed plans to open 150 to 200 new retail banking stores nationally in 2006.

Copyright 2006 Innam News


Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or communications@alta.org.

SoftPro is the nation's leading provider of closing and title software, consistently pushing the technological envelope to pioneer the most powerful and comprehensive closing and title automation software on the market. SoftPro's Award-Winning Software combines cutting-edge technology with outstanding support to make your business more productive, efficient and boost your revenue. North American Title Insurance Company (NATIC) is a seasoned title insurance underwriter, helping title agents to achieve their individual business goals for more than 50 years. Today, the company conducts real estate settlement services in 39 states and the District of Columbia through a network of experienced, independent agents.