Long Beach Mortgage, the subprime origination arm of Washington Mutual, has eliminated 250 employees in a move that the company said was needed to match capacity with current market conditions. Numerous independent sources in the industry informed Housing Wire of the layoffs yesterday, and spokesperson Olivia Riley from Washington Mutual confirmed earlier this morning to Housing Wire that the company had decided to reduce its staffing in four of its eight loan fulfillment sites. “This decision is a reflection of the weakening overall subprime mortgage market conditions and supports our efforts to ensure that operations are located where it makes the most economic sense,” said Riley. “WaMu remains committed to the subprime business. We continue to offer subprime products to our customers and we plan to drive profitable growth in this business.”
Downsizing was a planned move The company said volume at the affected four fulfillment centers will be redirected to its other fulfillment sites. Riley stressed that the decision by WaMu to downsize at LBM was part of an existing long-term plan at the company to ensure efficient operations going forward. “For more than a year, WaMu has been implementing strategic plans that will help the company operate more efficiently,” said Riley. “We’re working to more effectively manage expenses and better position the company for future growth. These efforts include relocating some support functions to lower-cost markets, increasing the company’s use of outsourced support, and eliminating jobs where needed to match capacity with current and anticipated market conditions.” It isn’t clear what percentage of Long Beach Mortgage’s workforce is impacted by the layoffs, as WaMu does not publicly provide information on the number of employees at its subprime business unit. For more information, visit http://www.wamu.com.