Wachovia mortgage cuts in next 2-3 months

Layoffs announced last week in Wachovia Corp.'s mortgage business will take place over the next two to three months, a spokeswoman said today.

As part of an effort to trim annual expenses by $1.5 billion, the Charlotte bank last week said it was eliminating 6,350 jobs companywide, including 4,400 in the mortgage area. It has disclosed few details about the job cuts.

The mortgage unit has been reeling from massive loan losses in the Pick-A-Payment mortgage portfolio inherited in Wachovia's 2006 Golden West Financial Corp. acquisition.

The layoffs comprise about 38 percent of the mortgage unit's 11,500 employees. Former Golden West workers are expecting to be hard hit, one source said. They are concentrated in tough California housing markets and in a discontinued area that made loans through outside brokers.

These employees are expecting to learn more details about the cuts as early as Monday, the source said.

Read more in Friday's Charlotte Observer.