Special servicer Wingspan Portfolio Advisors reached an agreement with JPMorgan Chase to acquire its mortgage servicing operation in Melbourne, Fla.

Steven Horne, CEO and president of Wingspan Portfolio Advisors, told National Mortgage News that the Florida site is JPMorgan’s top producing location in terms of product quality for loan modifications and customer assistance. Horne did not specify how many loans are serviced at this shop since there are several steps involved in the servicing process.

As part of the agreement, the Dallas-based special servicer will offer positions to more than 400 JPMorgan Chase employees. Also, Wingspan acquired the lease of the bank’s Florida servicing office.

Jason Spooner, executive vice president of servicing operations at Wingspan Portfolio Advisors, will manage this new site. Wingspan will now assume all operations on-site and provide services to JPMorgan Chase, as well as to others seeking support.

Spooner said that by adding this team to Wingspan’s portfolio, the special servicer now has a “true strategic advantage in the marketplace.”

By obtaining the rights to this East Coast servicing shop, Wingspan will now have approximately 2,000 employees in Texas and Florida.

“This is big news for us and we see it as indicative of where our industry is headed,” Horne said. “We are now fully equipped to meet the needs of clients as they downsize the scale of their default servicing operations. ”

This acquisition comes as the New York-based lender said in a presentation today that the company expects as much as 13,000 to 15,000 job reductions in its mortgage business by the end of 2014.

The company added that costs in mortgage banking will fall by about $3 billion through 2014.

“We are very pleased with this transaction as we are helping a large institution return to normal staffing levels as cuts are being made,” Horne said in an interview. “We are not planning on taking over other branches throughout the country either at this time.”

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