Sacramento gains 200 new jobs in mortgage industry

Published: Wednesday, Jun. 19, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 6B
Last Modified: Wednesday, Jun. 19, 2013 - 8:10 am

Sacramento is getting 200 new jobs in the mortgage industry, sopping up some of the talent left over from the housing crash.

PennyMac Loan Services of Moorpark, in Ventura County, has already hired 40 workers and will ramp up to a total of 200 jobs eventually, the company said Tuesday. Its decision to come to the region was announced by SACTO, the Sacramento Area Commerce and Trade Organization.

The news comes as the recovery in Sacramento's housing market gets into high gear, although PennyMac's arrival is actually tied to a government program for underwater borrowers.

Most of the employees will be originating loans affiliated with the government's Home Affordable Refinance Program, said company spokesman Kevin Chamberlain. HARP is a federal program aimed at helping homeowners who owe more than their homes are worth.

Industry analysts say HARP loans have become more popular with the comeback in housing prices, as homeowners have greater incentive to hang onto their properties.

Chamberlain said the Sacramento office will deal with customers from around the country.

Sacramento was chosen because of the region's "skilled mortgage sales force," he said. In addition, the company already operated a small office in Sacramento.

More than 3,000 mortgage jobs in greater Sacramento disappeared in the market crash, although several hundred have come back in the past year, according to state employment data.

PennyMac is the second real estate firm in the past month to undertake significant hiring in the Sacramento area. Clear Capital, a market research firm in Truckee, announced in late May it would add up to 80 jobs at its Roseville office.

PennyMac in February leased an office on North Freeway Boulevard in Natomas. Because the site is in a state enterprise zone, the company is eligible for income tax credits based on meeting certain hiring criteria, said Shari Little, SACTO's vice president of business development.

The company is taking applications at www.pennymac usa.com/careers.

Call The Bee's Dale Kasler, (916) 321-1066. Follow him on Twitter @dakasler.

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