Signet Mortgage to consolidate offices

BANKING & FINANCE

June 17, 1994|By David Conn | David Conn,Sun Staff Writer

In Thursday's Business section, an item about a restructuring of Signet Mortgage Corp. stated that the company plans to close its 17 small mortgage processing centers in Maryland and Virginia. The article did not mention that the sales offices at those processing centers will not be affected by the restructuring and will remain open for business.

The Sun regrets the errors.

Signet Mortgage Corp. has discovered getting closer to the customer is not always best.

The Baltimore-based subsidiary of the Richmond banking company has decided to consolidate its 17 small mortgage processing centers into two large hubs, one in Richmond and one in Columbia.

The old corporate structure was an attempt to bring the processors closer to the customers, according to spokeswoman Teri Temples. But it ended up creating redundancies and increasing loan processing time.

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

The new Columbia hub will employ 56 people. Since there are 83 people doing mortgage processing in Maryland, 27 jobs are at risk. All of those people may apply for different positions in Maryland, so Signet can't say yet how many workers will lose their jobs, if any. In Virginia, about 50 jobs will be reduced to 35 at the new Richmond hub.

The goal of this new "Team Origination Process" is to rid the company of the duplication in the various small centers and reduce mortgage processing time, Ms. Temples explained. Signet is shooting for a three-day turnaround time, once the new operations are fully running.

"The new configuration assures better, more streamlined communication between processors and customers because every member of a team can respond to inquiries and solve problems within the unit," said Randy Wycoff, president of Signet Mortgage.

The target date for the two new hubs is July 31.

Bank fairs target low to moderate incomes

L

Tomorrow is a big day for the community development crowd.

First, there's the "ACORN & Friends Bank Fair," which aims to bring 19 financial institutions into closer contact with an audience it has found tough to reach: low- to moderate-income people.

The fair, to be held at Frederick Douglass High School across from Mondawmin Mall, will run from noon to 5 p.m. The free event will allow bankers and potential borrowers to talk about their mutual needs (the banks need to show regulators that they're making an effort to reach all segments of the community; the borrowers presumably need money).

Seminars include Credit Repair, How to Buy a House and -- not for the squeamish -- What Happens When Your Loan Hits the Bank.

Sponsors include the Bank of Baltimore, Chase Manhattan Bank and NationsBank, as well as ACORN, or Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, a national advocate of bank investment in low-income neighborhoods and fair lending laws.

The second event is a similar affair, although smaller in scope, sponsored by Provident Bank of Maryland. The event at the Reisterstown Road Plaza runs today from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and tomorrow from noon to 6 p.m.

NationsBank to shut 2 more Md. branches

When last we checked, NationsBank had notified federal regulators in February and March that it planned to close eight Maryland branches in the wake of the merger with MNC Financial Inc.

Now comes word of two more -- the NationsBank branches at the New Carrollton and Silver Spring metro stations -- for a total of 10 closings so far.

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