Pulte Mortgage closing in Charlotte

Pulte Homes' mortgage arm is closing its Charlotte office, eliminating nearly 90 jobs.

The mortgage-processing center, one of two, handled lending mostly for the homebuilder's southeastern U.S. operations. Pulte Mortgage plans to consolidate processing at its headquarters near Denver, said spokesman Mark Marymee. The company lends only to Pulte Homes customers.

The Charlotte closure, expected to be complete by Dec. 19, comes amid an entrenched national housing crisis that has eroded sales, construction and prices. Many lenders have cut back, including Wachovia, which is eliminating 5,000 of 11,500 jobs in its mortgage unit to cut costs. HSBC Holdings, Wells Fargo and LendingTree are among others that have trimmed mortgage jobs.

Pulte Mortgage said the shutdown is permanent, according to its federally required notification of the layoffs, dated Sept. 8.

Four mortgage representatives will continue working with Pulte's Charlotte area building business, said Jon Hardy, the national builder's division president here. The division, with projects such as Sun City Carolina Lakes in Lancaster County, S.C., has a total of 130 workers, including sales representatives, construction superintendents and administrative staff.