Green shoot or storm cloud? Hiring is picking up at U.S. mortgage firms, with lenders and service firms bringing in more than 11,000 new employees in the second quarter, according to data out today from MortgageDaily.com. Companies in the sector shed some 3,200 jobs. That's a significant reversal from the first quarter, when mortgage firms laid off nearly 11,000 employees and added roughly 2,000 jobs.
Of course, the main reason why lenders are staffing up is because more and more consumers are falling behind on their mortgage payments, as well as trying to refinance or adjust their loans. Texas is creating the most mortgage-related jobs, while California's supperating wound of a real estate market continues to bleed jobs.
Sticking with California, since it remains the eye of the storm, the number of foreclosure proceedings started against homeowners fell 8% sequentially in the second quarter, according to mortgage data firm MDA DataQuick. But that's largely because mortgage lenders and servicers are gearing up for a rise in home foreclosures later this year.
"There is a perception that the housing market is dragging along bottom, that it probably won't get much worse and that the lenders need to get serious about processing the backlog of delinquencies, either with work-outs or foreclosure," said DataQuick president John Walsh in a statement last month. "We're hearing that some lenders and servicers are doing just that, hiring more people to do the necessary paperwork. That means the foreclosure numbers will probably shoot back up during the third quarter."
Image courtesy of Flickr user TheTruthAbout