Banking

Mortgage company layoffs hit Charlotte

Movement Mortgage said Wednesday it has agreed to acquire a division of homebuilding giant Lennar Corporation, the first acquisition by the fast-expanding Indian Land, S.C., company.
Movement Mortgage said Wednesday it has agreed to acquire a division of homebuilding giant Lennar Corporation, the first acquisition by the fast-expanding Indian Land, S.C., company. www.micezkphoto.com

Movement Mortgage said Thursday it is laying off 100 employees nationwide, including 18 in the Charlotte area, as the lender founded by a former Carolina Panthers player braces for an industry slowdown.

Movement, based in Indian Land, S.C., attributed the cuts in operations positions to slower than expected loan growth. Affected jobs in the region are all at the company's headquarters, Movement said.

The company, which said it continues to employ more than 4,000 nationwide, cited challenges facing mortgage lenders nationwide, including rising interest rates, increased competition and tight supplies of available for-sale homes.

"At Movement, we have a commitment to long-term growth and impact. This year, we are growing slower than we expected," CEO Casey Crawford said in a statement.

"We believe our decision to adjust our operations is in the long-term best interest of our entire Movement community," he said. "We are confident in our vision to be the leading purchase mortgage lender in every market we serve."

The company said it has been profitable every year since its founding and expects another profitable year in 2018. It also said it is actively recruiting loan officers and plans to grow its sales force this year.

But the layoffs are a change at a company that has been in expansion mode since its founding by the former Panthers tight end in 2008.

Last year Movement broke ground on a second building at its South Carolina headquarters and announced plans to add more than 700 new jobs over five years at the site.

Movement has said it made more than $12.8 billion in mortgages last year, a new company record. At the time, the company also noted it had increased its volume of loans for home purchases for nine years in a row.

These are not the first layoffs to hit the privately held company in recent months.

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In February, Movement quietly laid off employees at its headquarters as well as at other offices across the U.S., a move the company said affected about 75 people in operations roles. Movement said that decision resulted from a change in how it handles a certain type of loan.

On Thursday, Movement said 52 layoffs were in Norfolk, Va.; 26 in Tempe, Ariz.; and four in Richmond, Va. Those affected will receive severance pay and aid such as financial counseling, the company said.

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