Wingspan closing Florida office, laying off 150 employees

Melbourne location once employed 400 people

When Wingspan Portfolio Advisors purchased JPMorgan Chase’s (JPM) mortgage servicing operations center in Melbourne, Florida in February 2013, the company gave 400 Chase employees who staffed the Melbourne office the opportunity to continue their employment.

Wingspan laid off dozens of employees from the Melbourne location last year after a servicing contract ended, but now the company plans to close the Melbourne office and lay off the remaining 150 employees, according to a report from Florida Today.

According to the Florida Today report, Wingspan sent a letter to the location’s workers, notifying them that Chase ended its contract with Wingspan.

"Wingspan's leadership reasonably believed until June 10, 2015 that a better outcome was possible, which providing notice of the impending possibility of a closure would have doomed," Terry Mitchell, vice president of human resources at Wingspan wrote in a letter that was distributed to employees on Wednesday and obtained by Florida Today.

When Wingspan acquired the Melbourne location in February 2013, the company said that it would offer positions to the more than 400 Chase employees that staffed the Melbourne location. In the deal, Wingspan also acquired the lease of the Chase office building.

"This is big news for us and we see it as indicative of where our industry is headed," then-Wingspan CEO and President Steven Horne said at the time. "We are now fully equipped to meet the needs of clients as they downsize the scale of their default servicing operations."

Wingspan went through several rounds of layoffs last year and this year. In addition to the Melbourne layoffs, Wingspan also laid off employees at its Monroe, Louisiana location and hundreds of employees at a location in Frisco, Texas.

Additionally, Steve Horne, the founder, CEO and president of Wingspan Portfolio Advisors was replaced as the leader of the company he founded in 2008.

For a comprehensive look at Wingspan’s history, click here and here.

In May 2013, Wingspan said that it was planning to expand its Florida operations and centralize its Florida workers in the Melbourne location. “Having the working groups together in our facilities brings a missing component to the mortgage processing and underwriting value proposition," Wingspan Senior Vice President Jim Gallagher said at the time.

“With the expansion into Florida, we’ve developed a strategic reserve that allows us to deploy 30 to 35 highly experienced people within 30 days, if required, for multiple clients," Gallagher added.

Last year, Wingspan said it was looking to “significantly” expand its Melbourne presence again.

In July 2014, Wingspan announced that it had open positions in Melbourne and was looking for employees with experience in customer service/call centers, mortgage underwriting, originations, collections, mortgage bankruptcy, loss mitigation, loan modifications, foreclosure and default escalations.

“We’re looking for professionals experienced in several aspects of our business to join Wingspan’s dedicated team in Melbourne,” Wingspan’s Executive Vice President of National Operations Jason Spooner said then. “We welcome all qualified applicants to come and learn about the exciting opportunities with Wingspan Portfolio Advisors.”

Spooner was later installed as Wingspan’s president when Horne departed.

According to the Florida Today report, Wingspan plans to close the Melbourne location on June 30.

HousingWire made a request for comment on the layoffs to Wingspan Senior Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Industry Relations Guy Davis. As of press time, HousingWire had not recieved a response.

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