Washington Mutual Closing Three Fulfillment Centers

September 12, 2007 No Comments »

I received word today that Washington Mutual Home Loans in the process of cutting more employees, and that the bank will be closing down three Loan Fulfillment Centers including one located in San Diego, CA and another in Anaheim, CA.

One employee said, “Wamu closed the Anaheim center today and laid off all of us, after telling us 2 months ago after the last round of layoffs that the sales people that had not been let go would be retained in the future and given guarantees!

“They took us out of the job market, had us in training for the past month and let us go today…”

Employees were told in a meeting today that the closures would result in roughly 1,000 total layoffs.

Another source told me both retail and wholesale operations were shut down in a San Antonio office.

I’ve also been told that 70 loan officers in Florida are being laid off today, and the move may signal more cuts nationwide as the mortgage lender continues to scale back mortgage operations.

One employee said the company had treated employees well, and has given them 60 days notice and a severance package.

Though another employee said, “Severance? Wamu is a HUGE company… we aren’t even going to be given our guarantees! Internal may be given a a package, but after everything, the remaining sales force got NOTHING! Only a lot of broken promises!”

I’m also hearing that Washington Mutual has exited their warehouse business.

A month ago Washington Mutual decided to shut a Dublin, CA office that handled subprime residential mortgages, resulting in 120 layoffs.

And last year the lender laid off 2,500 support employees in its mortgage unit while reducing its mortgage processing offices from 26 to 16, citing weaker demand for home loans.

On Monday, the largest thrift and loan said it was increasing reserves for loan losses to as much as $2.2bn, noting problems in the US mortgage market were worse than expected.

Earlier this year, Washington Mutual exited the correspondent lending business after citing secondary mortgage market worries and liquidity concerns.

Seattle-based Washington Mutual is one of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders, but recent market woes have led the company to reduce subprime mortgage production and the origination of other high-risk loans.

See the complete list of mortgage layoffs, closed lenders, rumors, and mergers.

Update one: It has been confirmed by Washington Mutual. 340 workers in loan centers in San Antonio, Texas; Anaheim, California and San Diego will be cut, 210 capital markets workers and 75 subprime lending employees.

Update two: The company also announced that it would be adding 1,000 mortgage-related jobs in bank branches throughout the country.

One word: Retail.

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