After MortgageWire went to press on Tuesday, a spokesman for the Merrill Lynch-owned First Franklin Financial Corp. called to say no layoffs have occurred at the company, noting that it has just started the process of consolidating some of its loan processing operations. He said the consolidation will "last months" rather than weeks but admitted that jobs likely will be lost even though affected employees can apply for open positions or transfers. On Monday, he declined to offer an estimate on possible layoffs. On Tuesday, when the story ran, MW reported that FFFC had cut an untold number of loan processors and related workers.

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