Mortgage companies pared their payrolls by just 300 full-time employees in September, compared to 3,400 cuts the prior month, according to new government figures released Friday morning.
It appears that falling interest rates, which have sparked a mini boom in refinancings, have helped to some degree, although larger lenders, such as Bank of America, continue to slash jobs and departments.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that employment in the mortgage banker/broker sector fell to 234,500 in September from 234,800 in August.
Overall, the industry’s workforce has declined by 10% since September 2010.
While employment in mortgage industry held fairly steady, Friday’s employment report shows that hiring was stronger elsewhere.
The Labor Department said businesses added 80,000 jobs in October. But it was the fewest in four months and below September’s revised total of 158,000. The government revised August and September’s data to show 102,000 more jobs added. (The mortgage employment figures lag one month behind the national numbers.)
The nation’s unemployment rate edged down to 9% from 9.1% in September.
However, the housing sector has not contributed to the pick up in jobs. “Employment in both residential and commercial construction has shown little net change in 2011,” a new Census Bureau report says.
Daily Briefing | Friday, November 4, 2011
HAMP Mods Rise Nicely, Including Principal Reductions
Residential servicers completed nearly 40,150 HAMP modifications in September, a 60% improvement from August, according to figures released by the U.S. Treasury Department.
A Deal May be Afoot to Restore GSE Loan Limits
A decision to restore the $729,750 maximum loan limit on government-backed loans likely will be made by House and Senate leaders — and not the appropriators, according to industry sources following the issue.
Genworth’s Loss Halved
The U.S. mortgage insurance business at Genworth Financial Inc., Richmond, Va., nearly halved its year-over-year loss in the third quarter as new flow delinquencies declined 14% from the previous year and new insurance written was up by 13% in the same timeframe.
Ranieri’s Selene Hires Litton and Other Top Managers
Selene Finance, a specialty servicer/loan modification company controlled by Lewis Ranieri, has hired Larry Litton Jr., and a handful of top managers from Litton Loan Servicing, Houston, according to servicing executives that have done business with the firm.
Redwood Sees Big Earnings Drop but Jumbo Production Spikes
Redwood Trust, the only firm to publicly issue jumbo MBS the past two years, earned just $1 million in the third quarter, but its acquisition of nonconforming product in the secondary market jumped by 166%.
AIG Posts Small Loss
American International Group, New York, reported a net loss of $4.1 million, which includes a $931 million decline in the fair market value of AIG’s holdings in Maiden Lane III and a $43 million decline in the fair market value of its subsidiary SunAmerica’s holdings in Maiden Lane II.
LPS Wins Court Battle Against FDIC in WaMu Appraisal Case
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Thursday dismissed a civil claim filed against Lender Processing Services by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which accused the mortgage vendor of gross negligence in appraisals conducted for the now defunct Washington Mutual, Seattle.
Another Protest to Draw Attention to Foreclosure Impact
The outcry against the financial sector has taken yet another turn, this time with a petition calling on the Minneapolis School Board to move its payroll and other accounts from Wells Fargo to a local community bank as a way to highlight the connection between foreclosures and local school systems.
Fincen Plan Requires GSEs to Develop Anti-Money Laundering Procedures
A proposal from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network would require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to develop their own anti-money laundering programs as part of an ongoing effort to combat mortgage fraud.