Confirming industry rumors that had surfaced earlier in the week, GE Money representatives yesterday confirmed through various media outlets that layoffs had affected 50 percent of the company's national workforce at Burbank-Calif.-based WMC Mortgage on Thursday -- roughly 750 employees in total were given their walking papers. GE Money had been very tight-lipped regarding its plans, with spokesperson Michael Ettlemyer telling HW on Wednesday afternoon that the company was not planning on making additional cuts. HW had approached the company earlier on Wednesday regarding the rumors of pending layoffs. The current round of job cuts comes on the heels of a 460-person layoff announced in March, as the subprime lender has had to make dramatic changes in response to continuing poor conditions in the U.S. mortgage market.
Sources tell HW that the current round of layoffs also means the company will be consolidating operations, leaving only its Burbank headquarters and New York-based loan processing center open. The company has already or will soon close its Addison, Texas and Costa Mesa, Calif.-based processing centers -- as of the publishing of this story, in fact, the company had already removed all references to its soon-to-be former locations from its Web site. Company officials noted in a recent earnings call that WMC has dramatically pulled back on its origination volume, and sources have suggested to HW the company is currently down to funding $15 million per month after funding close to $3 billion per month last year. "We curtailed production dramatically during the first quarter," said Mark Begor, president and chief executive officer of GE Money, Americas, on a recent earnings conference call. "We've tightened up a lot on our guidelines and really curtailed a lot of the business activities." No information regarding potential severance packages or employment assistance for affected former employess was made available to the press at the time the story was published.
Don't subscribe? Be sure to sign up today to get our free email updates delivered direct to your inbox!