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Wilmington Finance - Wholesale - Alt-A, Subprime

2008-06-17

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stories: businesswire.com, yahoo.com, reuters.com

Update - 2008-06-17 4:30 PM EST We have a copy of the official announcement sent to brokers (click here to view).

In reference to the "outplacement services" WFI is promising to employees affected by the shutdown, a former employee and one of hundreds let go in previous layoffs had this to say:

"The way they went about laying off was really unfair and they reported incorrect figures to unemployment so getting that set up was a hassle for some. There were some really good people working for them and to be left high and dry like we were was not right."
"They have not provided any of the formerly laid off with outplacement services."

News reports indicate 335 people were affected by this latest round in the shuttering of wholesale operations.

Original Implode Listing - 2008-06-17: As reported minutes ago at Yahoo Finance, "Wilmington Finance says it is stopping wholesale mortgage originations and reducing its retail operations as well."

As we were preparing our article, this came in from a Blackberry:

"Wfi is no more....announced at an employee meeting just mins ago."

We will be updating this throughout the day. Tips and details are pouring in from all over the country. Back in April during a conference call management said "We are still here, no matter what the Implode.com says." A truly unfortunate choice of words. Click here to send us more information.

Original Ailing Listing - 2008-04-18: We've received a number of inquiries about Wilmington Finance, an affiliate of American General Financial Services (AG) and member of American International Group, Inc. (AIG), headquartered in Plymouth Meeting, PA.

One tipster wrote:

"I think Wilmington Finance needs to be on your implode list, at least in the watch section. I am a previous employee of Wilmington and was laid off at the end of last year. They steadily have laid off more employees in recent months and shut down branch offices."

In a conference call today, AE's and employees in the Henderson, NV regional office learned staff had been downsized to 10 people. Positions for three remaining Sales Managers were also eliminated. One AE we spoke with estimated there were between 20 and 30 employees there at one point. This follows after months of branch closures and layoffs. AE's aren't being let go, but have been told "If you decide to leave, we'll call you back when we have the product." Of 16 offices nationwide listed on CityTownInfo.com, only 4 consolidated regional locations remain in CA, PA, NC and NV. According to one source, there were about 470 AE's at one time, now down to around 100.

An insider we spoke with told us President George Roach and EVP Carl Messina have been notably absent from production calls for the past five weeks and aren't responding to voice mails from concerned employees. The source said AIG was now calling the shots, having taken over from American General (AG). They (AIG) gave an ultimatum following the 2008-04-15 rollout of FHA on a test basis to the PA region: "make it work in 90 days", according to our source. This was reiterated in the conference call. "That's what AG wants," the host said. "You got ta do it in one office first". Rollout to the remaining 3 regions won't happen for another 90 to 120 days. It was mentioned that the PA (wholesale) office was receiving "3 to 4 loans per day", strictly refi's. Target volume was said to be $2-$3 million per month for wholesale in general. Retail was reported as doing $10 million per month.

Working on 100% commission, AEs are becoming "disenchanted." A forum poster wrote "This company has been dead since August. Please just FIRE us already. I've closed one loan in the last 3 months. The Pa region did $4.7 million in January." Another wrote "Wilmington Finance is still funding loans, just not too many. They funded fewer than 45 million dollars a month for the whole company in back to back months to start 2008. This is a serious decline from a year or two ago when they did over a billion dollars a month." Rumblings about a mass layoff back in December 2007 were not confirmed, and exact figures for affected employees have not been available.

Near the end of the conference call, the speaker said "We are still here, no matter what the Implode.com says." We heard... and we'll be watching.

There are 12 different conversations about Wilmington on our forums. View the most up-to-date here.


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Comments:

wnfgoesdown at 15:05 2008-06-17 said:
http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/080617/20080617006205.html?.v=1 Permalink

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Important: This company is on our list of lending operations that have "imploded". However, please note that "imploded" is a somewhat subjective and does not necessarily mean operations are ceased permanently: it can mean bankruptcy filing, temporary but open-ended halting of major operations, or "firesale" acquisition. All information here is provisional, and may contain inaccuracies (especially newer information). If you are planning on doing business with this company or any other one listed on this site, you should inquire with them directly on whether they can still meet your needs. Many are still operating in some capacity.