Fremont Investment & Loan cuts 243 jobs

     Fremont Investment & Loan is slashing 243 jobs at its home loan center in Ontario, according to records filed with the state’s Employment Development Department.
     The investment-lending bank snatched the regional spotlight in June when it announced that its Brea-based parent company, Fremont General Corp. (OTC: FMNTQ), was filing for bankruptcy.
     But Fremont Investment & Loan is following a different course.
     In May, Litton Loan Servicing — a Goldman, Sachs & Co. affiliate — purchased the Fremont Investment & Loan home mortgage unit, which held $12 billion in loans.
     Fremont General also said last week that CapitalSource Inc., a Maryland-based investment and loan company, got approval by a federal bankruptcy court to acquire Fremont Investment & Loan’s retail bank branches and assets.
     The merger apparently wasn’t enough to stem job losses.
     Shares of Fremont General Corp. spiked at more than $30 in early 2004. The stock closed at 18 cents on Wednesday.
     The company had one retail bank in Redlands and several others located throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties.
     Fremont’s layoffs add to a growing list of financial service jobs being cut throughout San Bernardino and Riverside counties since the housing boom went bust.
     In December, Wells Fargo’s home finance arm in Diamond Bar shut its doors, laying off 58 workers, and JP MorganChase’s subprime lending branch in Ontario axed 91 employees.
     First Magnus Financial Corp., a secondary-mortgage service based in Tucson, Ariz., shut down its Rancho Cucamonga branch in August and let 76 employees go before filing for bankruptcy.
     Option One Mortgage Corp., a subsidiary of H & R Block, cut 39 jobs in Rancho Cucamonga in July 2007.
     And Orange-based ACC Capital Holdings had two subsidiaries in Rancho Cucamonga that laid off 51 workers in May 2007.
     –matthew.wrye@inlandnewspapers.com

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