The News: Plenty of Jobs in Mortgage Workout

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While careers related to restructuring corporate debt have been in the spotlight, Thursday's Wall Street Journal spotlights an ongoing hiring boom for the retail equivalent: jobs restructuring home mortgages.

Bank of America, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo have collectively hired almost 17,000 people this year, mostly to work with financially ailing homeowners, the Journal says. More important: "With the number of defaults rising, many are planning to keep adding staff." The nationwide residential delinquency rate stood at 12.4 percent in October, according to LPS Applied Analytics. That's nearly 7 million mortgages that may require ground-level intervention.

Citigroup's 1,400 additional mortgage resturcturing staff this year represents a 54 percent increase in that department.

These aren't Wall Street jobs, obviously: base salaries run from $30,000 - $60,000, plus bonus. Many applicants come from outside of finance altogether. A J.P. Morgan Chase spokesman told the Journal one of its best loan modifiers is a former police officer from Jacksonville, Fla. But many a displaced mortgage broker has found at least a temporary career home in this fast-growing niche.

Other mortgage restructuring jobs are springing up in newly formed companies such as Private National Mortgage Acceptance Co. (which calls itself PennyMac), founded last year by ex-Countrywide executives. It now employs 120, according to the Journal.

Hiring Boom in Mortgage Restructuring [WSJ]

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