Pacific Union Financial unexpectedly closed the doors to its mortgage fulfillment call center, leaving El Paso, Texas, short 699 promised jobs.

The company was promised $1.4 million from the city just months before, and in exchange it would create 699 jobs over the next five years, according to an article by Vic Kilenc for the El Paso Times.

The jobs would have paid about $48,500 per year, according to the article. The jobs would have been for sales, customer service, loan analysts, loan-service officers, loan underwriters, credit analysts and other positions. The city of El Paso explained that no incentives had been paid to the company yet, and they were shocked to see it close down.

The center had currently been the workplace of 40 employees, one of whom said the company cited “a lot of hard decisions due to the [mortgage] market,” when conducting the layoffs.

From the article:

The company had closed two offices in California, but management officials “kept stressing to us that we were fine and (the company was) committed to El Paso,” the employee said.

“A lot of us saw this coming, but not this soon,” the woman said. “We were surprised.”

Indeed mortgage companies saw a tough start to 2018. The cost of originating a mortgage hit all-time highs back in 2013 and 2014, but now, those costs are up once again, and much like before, hitting all-new highs, according to the last Quarterly Mortgage Bankers Performance report from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

And because of these increasing costs, even some of the nation’s largest banks including Wells FargoJPMorgan Chase and CitiBank saw a decrease in their mortgage banking revenue in the second quarter of 2018.

Other lenders are also struggling to keep their doors open. For example, community bank and mortgage lender HomeStreet is closing several offices and laying off more than 100 staffers, due to a lack of demand for its mortgage products.

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