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Bank of America lays off 1,500 mortgage workers

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Bank of America (BAC) laid off 1,500 associates nationwide as the bank anticipates a 25% downturn in the mortgage origination market. A BofA spokesman confirmed the bank would close or consolidate more than 100 fulfillment centers and cut staff. At least 300 of the associates will fill positions at the bank's Legacy Asset Servicing division created in February to work through discontinued and delinquent loans. There, they will support modification and foreclosure-prevention initiatives. The rest were encouraged to apply at other positions open at BofA. The bank reported $2 billion in earnings during the first quarter, a 37% drop from one year ago. BofA settled new representation and warranties claims saw expenses increase in the new servicing department. Last week, Wells Fargo (WFC) laid off 1,900 employees from its mortgage division as housing demand fell, the bank said Thursday. Since 2008 demand for mortgage-related jobs vanished as liquidity dried up. In the mortgage industry, the work force was slashed in half as of February 2011. Roughly 257,000 jobs in the industry have been lost since the downturn. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.

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