Marin Brokers Getting the Pink Slip
Just as flies are drawn to a poop, people flocked to selling real estate and mortgages when times were good. But now brokerages are shutting down and brokers are being laid off. Even here in immune Marin:
Layoffs have hit two prominent Marin mortgage brokerages this spring, signaling a shift in the local real estate market and a trickle-down effect credited to the subprime lending fallout.
San Rafael-based Paul Financial LLC gave 36 employees walking papers Wednesday, company officials said. Of those, 25 were based in San Rafael. The company employs about 180 full-time workers in offices in San Rafael, Santa Rosa and Irvine.
Late last month, Novato-based GreenPoint Mortgage laid off 70 employees, nine of whom worked out of the company's Novato headquarters, officials said. GreenPoint employs approximately 2,800 people, about 570 of whom work in Marin.
The real estate market has experienced a slowdown, said Don Maxon, mortgage loan officer and assistant vice president of Bank of America Mortgage in Larkspur.
"I just see the market as being very changed," she [Donna Barron, principal of the San Rafael-based investment mortgage strategy firm the Barron Group] said. "It's not the market it was. I have reps that have the territory from Healdsburg on down who say most of the brokerages have closed down. Clearly the ranks of the brokerage industry have been hit significantly."
A spokeswoman for GreenPoint said the lender was feeling the effects of tighter credit restrictions imposed by investors buying its loans - restrictions prompted by trouble in the subprime lending market.