New US funding cuts hundreds of jobs

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New US funding laid off hundreds of staff in several rounds of downsizing this year, several former employees told HousingWire.

The most recent layoff came on Tuesday when the California-based lender cut several hundred positions, including loan officers, mortgage underwriters, processors and training specialists, several former employees said. The company had 4,800 employees in July 2021 and hired more than 1,190 workers in the first seven months of last year, New American said in a statement at the time.

No Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice (WARN) has been submitted to the Employment Development Department (EDD) and New American Funding did not respond to requests for comment.

Founded in 2003 by Rick Arvielo and his wife Patty Arvielo, New American Funding offers a variety of conventional, government, adjustable rate and non-qualified mortgages. Licensed in 49 states across the country, the lender has 159 active branches nationwide and issued $31.8 billion in mortgages in 2021.

In June of last year, New American Funding announced plans to expand its presence across much of the country by hiring LOs and other salespeople. But, as is the case with virtually all mortgage lenders, origination volume began to decline as mortgage rates rose.

According to data from Inside Mortgage Financingnew US funding generated $9.1 billion in the first six months of 2022, down 42.7% from the first six months of 2021.

“In 2021, I was reviewing about 50-100 loans a day,” said a former disclosure specialist who was laid off in 2022. “Early this year, I started reviewing about 30-50 and it kept going down.”

Several rounds of layoffs took place in early 2022, former employees said. A mass layoff of about 500 employees took place in February, ahead of the Fed’s first rate hike in March, according to two former employees who spoke to HousingWire on condition of anonymity.

“Since the mortgage activity has slowed down, we are doing a reduction in strength, that’s what they [human resources] told me,” said an employee who was notified of her layoff on Tuesday morning. The termination took effect on August 2 and no severance package was offered, according to a separation document reviewed by HousingWire.

With less origination volume, the lender introduced stricter payment standards for positions including senior processors earlier this year, former employees said.

“We got paid on every case we handled last year,” said a former employee. “Earlier this year, around March or April, they reduced that amount saying we couldn’t get paid on anything unless we closed more than 11 loans a month. Last year when it was busier we were able to close 20 to 30 with no problem, but with the economy as it is it was hard to get to 10.”

Privately held New American Funding isn’t the only mortgage lender to drastically downsize its workforce this year.

loanDeposit, a top 10 lender, plans to cut 4,800 jobs, or around 40% of its workforce, to return to profitability. Digital Mortgage Lender better.com laid off more than 4,000 employees since December. Same Rocket Mortgageby far the largest lender in the country, offered voluntary buyouts to 2,000 workers earlier this year.

With mortgage volume plummeting, lenders including Pennymac, Mr. Cooper, Guaranteed rate and Fairway Independent mortgage conducted at least one downsizing cycle and First Guaranty Mortgage Company (FGMC) filed for bankruptcy in June after laying off nearly 80% of its workforce in a virtual meeting.

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