Merit Financial, Kirkland, Wash., has reportedly laid off 300 workers and is considering filing for bankruptcy protection, according to a report in the Seattle Times. On Friday a receptionist at the company told MortgageWire that no one was available to talk about the situation and she herself declined to answer questions. She said company CEO and founder Scott Greenlaw ­ a former college football star ­ was not in. A voice mail message left for Mr. Greenlaw had not been returned at press time. Founded just five years ago, the company was funding about $2 billion a year in mortgages. This past fall it published a press release, saying it had been honored by the Puget Sound Business Journal as one of the fastest growing companies in the area. Over the past six months several mortgage firms have announced sizeable layoffs while others have either gone out of business or are for sale.

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