AmeriFirst Dwelling Mortgage to chop 59 staff

AmeriFirst Home Mortgage will shed dozens of workers in February as the ramifications of a significant slowdown for the industry extend into the next year.

The Kalamazoo, Michigan-based lender and servicer will terminate approximately 59 employees at its Portage, Michigan office on Feb. 12, 2023, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification. The filing last week to the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity indicated at least eight managers would be cut, although it didn’t reveal if loan officers or underwriters would be affected.

The layoff was first reported by MiBiz. In a statement to the publication, AmeriFirst CEO Mark Jones said rising interest rates were forcing the firm to scale back its operations. AmeriFirst will still originate and service loans from the Portage branch and other locations, he said.

None of the impacted personnel are represented by a union nor have bumping rights regarding seniority. The WARN was filed ahead of the required 60-day notice, and staff were informed of the layoffs last week, according to the disclosure. Departed employees will be paid wages and benefits through their date of separation, although it’s unclear if they’ll receive severance. A spokesperson for AmeriFirst didn’t respond to a request for comment Tuesday morning. 

Amerifirst was founded in 1983 and as of earlier this year counted 963 employees across branches in 20 states coast-to-coast. The lender and servicer offers conventional, government-insured and home improvement loans. 

The wave of layoff announcements across the industry has slowed in December, although some previously announced cuts went into effect earlier this month. Title insurer Doma and mortgage giant Finance of America have also indicated large rounds of cuts extending into the first half of next year.

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