Even as it recruits new sales staff from troubled competitors, Countywide Financial Corp. says it's laying off some workers in divisions that handle loans the company is cutting back on. Countrywide said it cut 500 positions last week in its Full Spectrum Lending division, which handles Alt-A loans, and the subprime lending unit of its wholesale lending division. There's been a significant contraction in the volume of subprime mortgage lending across the industry, Countrywide said in a statement released Monday. "When appropriate, Countrywide takes steps to adjust staffing levels, particularly in areas where the cost structure must align with production volumes," the statement said. The statement came after the Wall Street Journal, citing an internal e-mail, reported Monday that Countrywide had laid off an unspecified number of employees in the Full Spectrum Lending division. For several months, Countrywide has said it would pursue a growth strategy during the housing do...
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