GETZVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) - Bank of America is closing its mortgage facility, putting several hundred people in Western New York in the unemployment line.
The bank tells News 4 that M&T Bank will take over operations of the facility after it closes at the end of May. The facility at CrossPoint Business Park in Getzville currently has around 1,200 employees. The Buffalo News reports 600 people will be hired by M&T, and another 100 people will be able to stay at Bank of America.
Around 500 people are expected to lose their jobs in the transfer of the mortgage facility to M&T Bank.
Bank of America says they're closing the facility due to a dramatic drop in the number of delinquent loans and the number of customers at risk for foreclosure has been cut in half.
"The reality is, from the peak levels we were at back in 2011, we have half the number of mortgage customers now that require the specialized programs and support of our mortgage servicing team. And we need to bring the operations back to the size commensurate with the number of customers we have to service," said Bank of America spokesman Dan Frahm.
This is the only facility being impacted by this move by Bank of America as it cuts employees who work in programs specifically dealing with foreclosures and delinquent loans.
Andrew Peterson of Coldwell Banker Chubb said, "After the burst or the bubble burst that they called years ago, a lot of that led to the foreclosures those individuals have already run."
And while Buffalo wasn't hit hard with foreclosures, certified financial planner Anthony Ogorek says the region was a back office hub for major corporations handling the foreclosures in other parts of the country.
"What was bad for taxpayers in America was actually good for Buffalo because this was one of the major service centers," he said. "And as the situation has begun to clear itself up, it makes sense that they are going to be losing positions."
And though some positions will be lost, Bank of America will try to keep around 100 of them on its payroll. For the others, Ogorek points out other companies in Western New York are hiring - like Citigroup, which has 175 positions to fill, and Geico, which has 800 job opportunities.
"We are going to be ultimately hit by 2015 with about $200 billion in loses by these mortgages," Ogorek points out. "Bank of America was one of the primary purveyors of that."
Employees hired by M&T will be recognized for their current years of service and will also be guaranteed their current salary.
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