Fewer Delinquencies Cost Lenders Jobs | Bedford Hills Real Estate

For the past six years, mortgage delinquencies, often a result of homeowners losing their jobs, created employment among mortgage servicers who process delinquencies and defaults.  Now the shoe is on the other foot as declining numbers of delinquencies are costing lenders jobs.

Declining delinquency drove mortgage servicers to reduce headcount in the second quarter. The biggest casualties were suffered by the nation’s largest servicers, while up-and-coming servicers added to their payrolls. Preliminary data for the current and upcoming quarters indicate the pain will deepen

There were 2,981 more mortgage layoffs than hirings during the three months ended June 30, according to the Second Quarter 2013 Mortgage Employment Index from Mortgage Daily.

The index reflects mortgage-related hirings and layoffs tracked by Mortgage Daily and is based on public company reports, state government employment data and quarterly surveys conducted by Mortgage Daily.

The second quarter net job loss in real estate finance contrasted the first quarter, when the industry had net gain of 5,129 jobs — the biggest expansion in nearly four years.

In the second quarter, mortgage lenders reported 9,950 layoffs — the highest level of layoffs since the first-quarter 2009, when mortgage firms laid off 10,953 employees.  In the second quarter of last year, industry-wide staffing grew by 1,335 positions.

The Mortgage Bankers Association recently report that the percentage of home loans that were more than 90 days behind or in the foreclosure process fell to 5.88 percent in the second quarter from 7.31 percent a year earlier. That was the lowest since the third quarter of 2008, when it was 5.17 percent.

More second-quarter job losses were experienced by Bank of America Corp. than any other company: 5,000. BofA, the nation’s third-biggest servicer in the second quarter, has aggressively been unloading mortgage servicing rights.  Staffing was also down at down JPMorgan Chase & Co., the second-largest servicer, where 1,826 jobs were cut.

However, Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. expanded headcount by 2,300 employees during the second quarter, more than any other mortgage-related firm.  Walter Investment Management Corp. grew its staffing by 1,400.  A third mortgage company that has also been rapidly expanding its servicing portfolio, Ocwen Financial Corp., relies primarily on offshore employees and has had little impact on U.S. job growth.



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