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Betting The Mortgage Farm On Staffing

Last month, IndyMac announced that it was laying off 4% of its work force or 400 people [1] but now is reversing course and may hire as many as 850 employees. Most of them are former employees of the now bankrupt American Home Mortgage [2]. Countrywide did this in reverse [3] a few weeks ago. IndyMac’s actions have got at least one of the credit agencies nervous [4].

Last week I was on a conference call with a lender who is doing well. They provided no subprime lending products during the housing boom. They take a contrarian position, much like IndyMac and believe that now is the time to grab market share.

While many lenders are pulling back, I suspect you will see lenders with deep balance sheets and less dependency on secondary market investors to buy paper, move in to fill part of the void. The idea that there is no mortgage money available right now is simply not true although there is definitely less of it.

Contrarian thinking abound.