240 in Columbus mortgage center survive cuts

The GreenPoint Mortgage office in Columbus, with about 240 employees, has apparently survived cuts by its parent company, Capital One Financial Corp.

"We're not closing the Columbus, Georgia, site," Tatiana Stead, spokeswoman with McLean, Va.-based Capital One, said Tuesday. "We are going to eliminate 31 sites in 19 states, but we are maintaining the Columbus, Georgia, site."

GreenPoint's Columbus office, located at 2300 Brookstone Centre Parkway, is primarily a call center operation that services loans already funded, Stead said. It does not originate new loans.

"It's a servicing unit," she said. "People that have loans with us, that need to ask questions about their loans, need additional details and information about what they need to do, that's what this unit's all about."

Capital One disclosed plans Monday to shut down its wholesale mortgage operation immediately, plus slash 1,900 jobs by the end of this year.

GreenPoint primarily handled no-documentation and "Alternative A" mortgage loans aimed at prospective homeowners with better credit than subprime borrowers. The struggling mortgage business has been hurt in recent months as the nation's housing market worsened.

"The reductions in demand and pricing in the secondary mortgage markets make it difficult to operate our wholesale mortgage banking business profitably," Gary Perlin, Capital One’s chief financial officer, said in a statement.

The company said its Overland Park, Kan.-based Capital One Home Loans, and Capital One N.A., which has 725 bank branches in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Texas and Louisiana, aren't affected by the cuts. It said loan originations will continue through those outlets, presumably increasing the need for the Columbus servicing office.

Stead said she did not know if the local operation's name would change from GreenPoint to Capital One. The Columbus work force occupies 35,000 square feet of space in the Brookstone Centre office complex located near the intersection of J.R. Allen Parkway and Bradley Park Drive.

GreenPoint has been in Columbus since March 1997 when the then-publicly traded company bought out the mortgage servicing operation of now defunct Citizens Financial Group Inc.

Capital One purchased GreenPoint in December 2006 as part of its acquisition of North Fork Banks.