Countrywide Will Slash up to 12,000 Jobs
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2007 6:31 PM CDT
An employee of Countrywide walks into the Nortirdge branch in Los Angeles, Calif., Tuesday Aug. 22, 2007. Countrywide Financial Corp. said Bank of America Corp. made a $2 billion investment in the company...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Troubled mortgage lender Countrywide announced today that it would cut up to 12,000 jobs–or some 20% of its total workforce–over the next three months. The Wall Street Journal reports that, as the subprime debacle rocks the housing market and the lending industry, Countrywide expects to issue 25% fewer loans this year.

Although allowing for the possibility of fewer cuts if the market improves, Countrywide execs said the current atmosphere was "certainly the most severe in the contemporary history of our industry." The company is focusing on lower-risk loans and on reducing costs.