Countrywide Financial Corp. has begun laying off an unspecified number of workers in its Full Spectrum Lending unit, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing an e-mail sent Friday to employees of the division.

The unit handles Alt-A mortgages, which Countrywide has announced it will cut back on in an effort to make 90 percent of the loans it originates eligible for repurchase by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac or consistent with its banking division’s investment criteria.

Countrywide did not respond to requests for comment from Inman News.

Countrywide and other mortgage lenders are facing difficulties obtaining short-term loans and selling the loans they originate in the secondary market.

Countrywide officials say they plan to weather the difficult period by moving all mortgage loan production from Countrywide Home Loans Inc. to Countrywide Bank by the end of September.

In an internal memo obtained by Inman News last week, company executives said that strategy was not expected to “materially change the way we operate, our key strategies, or our desire and intent to continue to be the dominant mortgage lender in the U.S.”

The memo, sent to employees Thursday, said Countrywide was in the process of hiring “several hundred loan officers” from competitors that have gone out of business.

In reporting its July results, Countrywide said it continued to add employees as part of the company’s strategy to take market share from competitors during the housing downturn. Countrywide reported hiring 787 new employees in loan originations, servicing and closing in July.

For the year ending in July, total employment in loan originations rose 6.4 percent to 34,326, the company said. The total headcount at Countrywide increased by nearly 10 percent during the period, to 61,586.

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription