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Chase cuts 400 mortgage jobs, including at least 20 in Cleveland

October 9, 2018

Chase cuts 400 mortgage jobs, including at least 20 in Cleveland

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- JPMorgan Chase has continued to cut jobs nationwide in mortgage lending, eliminating 400 jobs last week, including at least 20 in downtown Cleveland.

The nationwide cuts, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, were confirmed today by Chase spokeswoman Carlene Lule.

She called it a “very small reduction in Chase’s home lending division last week,” affecting less than 3 percent of the mortgage division’s total employment in Columbus, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Florida; and Phoenix.

Lule said no offices will be closed, but she declined to say how many people remain in the Cleveland office or are working statewide. The Cleveland office had concentrations of employees in home-equity processing and in mortgage collections.

The layoffs stem from two issues, Lule said. First, the number of homeowners behind on their mortgages has declined, with delinquencies down 22 percent from last year. And second, more people are taking care of business through their laptops and mobile phones.

“When fewer people are struggling with their mortgages, and more people are using self-service channels, we can adjust staffing,” Lule said. “Like all companies, we are making improvements to operate more efficiently and make slight adjustments to resources to best meet the needs of the market.”

Chase, which has more than 250,000 employees overall, is the largest bank in the nation by assets.

The mortgage industry has changed dramatically in the past dozen years, going from a time when it seemed everyone was buying a home, refinancing a loan or thinking of buying, to a time just a few years later when millions of homeowners were delinquent. Times have changed again.

In 2010, Chase was ramping up its Cleveland operations, adding 200 people in mortgage operations. A year later, Chase hired 100 more, then 120 more. It was so desperate for workers that it was holding job fairs. In 2011, Chase employed about 1,500 in Greater Cleveland and 20,000 in Ohio.

Now, many banks are pulling back on mortgage operations since the economy is healthier and interest rates are rising.

U.S. Bank in July started shutting down its Bedford mortgage office, eliminating 260 jobs. That location at Rockside Road near Broadway Avenue is closing permanently, U.S. Bank said.

Last year, New York Community Bank, the parent of Ohio Savings, cut 210 mortgage-related jobs from its Cleveland headquarters at 1801 E. 9th St. in Cleveland after it sold its mortgage business to Freedom Mortgage of New York. Also eliminated were 14 jobs in Brooklyn.

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