Layoffs swept through Freedom Mortgage’s Fort Mill, South Carolina office last Friday, sources familiar with the situation confirmed to HousingWire this week.
The exact numbers have not been publicly disclosed, but laid off employees said it’s in the hundreds.
A manager at Freedom, who requested anonymity, told HousingWire that the sales side of the Fort Mill office was let go. The source also noted that some operations people also received pink slips last week.
The layoffs are believed to have taken place in Roundpoint’s headquarters—a subsidiary of Freedom. Freedom Mortgage, the top FHA and VA lender in America, did not respond to HousingWire’s request for comment.
Roundpoint, an originator, servicer and subservicer, was acquired by Freedom in 2020, but the initial courtship was not amicable.
Roundpoint sued Freedom Mortgage after it tried to back out of the transaction in response to a credit facility Roundpoint took out in 2018. In response, Freedom countersued, resulting in the two companies voluntarily settling the matter.
Earlier this year, Roundpoint announced the addition of a new leadership team. It installed Patrick McEnerney as CEO, Joseph Gormley as chief administrative officer, and Scott Bristol as executive vice president of retail lending. In statements to the press, the company spoke of its growth trajectory.
McEnerney told the Charlotte Business Journal that Roundpoint was building out its retail mortgage operations with a particular focus on first-time homebuyers. It led to a rise in originations and refinancings, but some existing customers refinanced with other mortgage firms, he said. The company in April said it was planning to add 90 retail offices nationwide, with the South Carolina office providing corporate support.
The news of the layoffs in Fort Mill comes amid rapidly thinning profit margins and a big decrease in refinancings. Industry insiders have been forecasting for months that a wave of layoffs will follow suit once the refi wave ends.
Meanwhile, a Mortgage Bankers Association‘s finance forecast found that the share of refi activity in the market has dropped from 64% in 2020 to 59% in 2021. Furthermore, the trade association predicts that refis will continue plummeting in 2022, dropping to 33%.
Thus far, Better.com and Interfirst Mortgage have gotten ample media attention after laying off hundreds of employees at their shops.