EXCLUSIVE: Fannie Mae completes fresh round of layoffs

Personnel reduction linked to lower distressed assets

Fannie Mae is moving forward with plans to reduce its office space across the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Additionally, sources tell HousingWire that the government-sponsored enterprise also started letting staff go.

But how many people were let go? They won’t say.

And as of publication time, there is no update to the Texas WARN notice website.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, companies are required to file a WARN notice if  "there is to be a mass layoff which does not result from a plant closing, but which will result in an employment loss at the employment site during any 30-day period for 500 or more employees, or for 50-499 employees if they make up at least 33% of the employer's active workforce."

While the number of affected employees is unknown, Fannie Mae Mae did release the following statement to HousingWire confirming the layoffs:

"As a regular course of business, we, like all companies, assess our human capital needs and make adjustments as necessary to align with our business priorities. In some instances, such as where we grew our operations to address the needs of the housing crisis, we are now making appropriate adjustments."

Sources tell HousingWire that the "adjustment" in the areas necessitated by the housing crisis is primarily in the field of distressed assets, foreclosures and property preservation.

This is not unusual across the larger mortgage players.

Bank of America and Wells Fargo also recently let staff go in similar fields, citing a significant reduction in dealing with these assets..

“They’ve been saying for a long time they wanted to get their people back to pre-boom levels,” said one source who got the ax from Fannie. “We knew it was coming for some time. We even trained our replacements.”

The word is that the layoffs are in area where third-party vendors make more sense. For example, Fannie simply holds fewer foreclosures so keeping a well-stocked, full-time department doesn’t make financial sense, another source said.

Fannie Mae’s statement added that layoffs remain only a portion of its current employee activities.

“We also continue to hire in certain areas where it makes business sense to do so,” the statement said. "As always, Fannie Mae remains focused on making decisions that will help us continue to do our important work while allocating resources efficiently.”

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