Mortgage company layoffs hit Charlotte area, other U.S. offices

Mortgage company layoffs hit Charlotte area, other U.S. offices

CHARLOTTE, NC (Deon Roberts/The Charlotte Observer) - Movement Mortgage quietly laid off employees at its Indian Land, S.C., headquarters late last week as well as other offices across the U.S.

The home lender confirmed Thursday's layoffs of about 75 people in operations roles. Cuts were split evenly among the campuses, which include sites in Arizona and Virginia, according to a statement from Movement.

Movement said its decision resulted from a change in how it handles a certain type of loan. The privately held company also noted the layoffs affected only a small percentage of its U.S. workforce of more than 4,200.

"This was an extremely difficult decision made only after much thought and deliberation," the company said. "All of the affected individuals were eligible for severance and treated with the utmost dignity and respect as they pursue their next opportunity."

The layoffs were connected to an improvement in the processing of loans for people who are applying for a mortgage but haven't yet picked out a home, Movement said.

Starting Monday, such borrowers will continue to receive upfront underwriting, but Movement will wait to process the loan until applicants have found a property, the company said. The change eliminates additional and often unnecessary work for borrowers and Movement operations staff, according to Movement.

The layoffs come at a time of rapid growth for a company launched by former Panthers tight end Casey Crawford in 2008.

Exactly a week before the layoffs, Movement announced making more than $12.8 in mortgages in 2017, a new company record. In making that announcement, the company also noted it has increased its volume of loans for home purchases for nine years in a row.

The company is growing in other ways.

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 began construction in 2015 on the first building of that campus, which was built with the aid of $53 million in incentives from South Carolina. In opening its headquarters there, Movement relocated its headquarters from Virginia Beach and consolidated jobs that had been in nearby Ballantyne.

According to Movement, it now has more than 700 employees at its new headquarters.

Also last year, Crawford announced he had become majority shareholder and chairman of First State Bank of Danville, Va., which he renamed Movement Bank.

In confirming Thursday's layoffs, Movement noted it has had a net increase of 201 jobs nationwide over the past 12 months.

It also said it forecasts hiring this year approximately 900 people across the U.S. in sales, operations, technology and corporate support roles to support its projected growth.