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by CareyBot

Continuing a series of mortgage industry layoff announcements, Washington Mutual Wednesday said it would close 10 of its 26 home-loan processing centers, eliminating 2,500 jobs. Washington Mutual, the third-largest U.S. mortgage lender by total volume in 2004, said the cuts represent about 4 percent of a workforce of 60,000 at the Seattle-based savings and loan. Other home-loan specialists, including Countrywide Financial Corp. in Calabasas and Ameriquest Mortgage Co. in Orange, have reported the effects of the mortgage market slowed. Loan production at Countrywide was $33 billion in January, compared to $44 billion in December. In a statement, Washington Mutual said the move in part reflected its effort to better match its processing capacity to "current and anticipated mortgage market ...