The corporate parent of Orange, Calif.-based Ameriquest Mortgage Co. said Thursday that it would lay off 10 percent of its nationwide workforce – about 1,500 employees – as the long-running housing boom and demand for home loans cooled off, Associated Press reported.

ACC Capital Holdings, which also owns AMC Mortgage Services and Argent Mortgage, would not identify where it would cut jobs or provide other details about the layoffs.

“The mortgage industry is entering a more challenging phase of rising interest rates,” ACC Capital Holdings Corp. said, according to AP. “In cyclical industries such as mortgage lending, periodic workforce reductions are not uncommon.”

The company said it would provide transition pay and benefits to laid-off workers.

After benefiting for years from a booming housing market, mortgage lenders face an industrywide slowdown as a rise in interest rates has damped demand for refinancings and new loans.

The Mortgage Bankers Association on Wednesday said its market composite index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, slipped last week to 657.6. It is down 13.7 percent from a year ago.

ACC said its subsidiaries employed about 15,000 workers nationwide. The announced job cuts will not affect its Argent Mortgage and Long Beach Acceptance Corp. units.


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