Mortgage

Pennymac plans job cuts in California

Pennymac will permanently cut 236 California positions in early May, according to Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification reports filed earlier this month.

The positions affected are related primarily to refinancing and purchase originations, which have declined as rates have risen. In line with the typical rate-related cyclical pattern in the mortgage industry, originations have slowed at PennyMac and pretax income from servicing has been outpacing the amount brought in from loan production channels.

Administrative, support and data scientist positions at PennyMac were listed in the notices. Other cuts are being made in areas that include call monitoring, closing verification, documentation, mortgage fulfillment, secondary marketing, portfolio risk management and 203K renovation loan products.

The layoffs were listed in six locations, including offices in Agoura Hills, Moorpark, Pasadena, and Roseville. Two offices in Westlake Village also were listed as having notified workers of cuts.

A spokesperson for Pennymac had not returned a call for comment at the time of this writing.

Other home lending companies that have announced permanent layoffs in California in the past month include Winpointe Corp., which does business as Interactive Mortgage. State filings show Winpointe is cutting 51 positions. Industry vendor Genpact Mortgage Services announced 14 layoffs, and Prospect Financial Group, which does business as Prospect Home Finance, reported five.

Larger lenders are also making big changes, or at least hinting at them. Better.com recently cut more than one-third of its 9,300 workers, while in loanDepot’s Q4 earnings call, its CEO Anthony Hsieh ominously noted that margin “pressure will continue until the industry gets right sized in capacity.”

But some companies are making cuts for reasons beyond the current cyclical shift in mortgages. Personnel reductions at New Residential stem from its efforts to consolidate operations after acquiring Caliber, Chief Operating Officer Jordan Licht said during the company’s earnings call last month.

Banking giant Wells Fargo, which has been beset by legal and regulatory concerns that include lending bias allegations, listed more than 100 layoffs in California during March. Wells has been more broadly focused on cost-cutting initiatives since last year to offset costs and compete.

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