Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Alliance Title RIF

From the Bakersfield Californian:

The local office of Alliance Title, a large title company, is shutting down as of 5 p.m. Thursday along with all of Alliance's California operations, an official said Wednesday.

In Kern County, 36 people will likely lose their jobs, said Brynn Powers, vice president/general manager of Bakersfield operations.

The closure is not due to local economic conditions, he said. He said the local branch is financially healthy.

He said he couldn’t speak to the company’s finances at a larger level.

From our local realtor:

What I heard was they were planning to close in January, but then they were told today to get ready to hand over files today at 5 pm to First American Title. First American Title is taking files ONLY, no escrow officers.


Ichabod said...

"The closure is not due to local economic conditions, he said. He said the local branch is financially healthy."


BWA HA HA!!! Yeah, that's it!

"Wow, we're making so much money, let's tell our employees we are leaving next month, then give them hours notice to turn their files over to another company, clean out their cubicles and go away! Boy, I love this financially healthy situation!"

WHATever. Alliance never made a blip on the escrow screen, from what I could tell. They weren't closing enough escrows to justify the rent and electricity bill. In this market, that is UNDERSTANDABLE. But don't lie about it. No one ever closes a "financially healthy" operation in business.

Bakersfield Bubble said...


Not due to local economic conditions. LMFAO!!

Bakersfield Bubble said...

Revised comments:

"we are making so much money that we felt like we were acting greedy so we decided to shit can all of our staff and let some other company make all of this money. Happy Holidays, now hit the road jack!"

Perfect Storm said...

"The closure is not due to local economic conditions"

What a tool!

WaitingToBuy said...

And in other news, Walmart closes all of it's California stores!

Realestateslasher said...

What does it all mean

Tiana said...

I am a past employee of Alliance Title, SANTA CLARA COUNTY DIVISION... they told all their employees they went bankrupt and that FINANCIAL TITLE was taking over... kicked all employess to the curb...

Bakersfield Bubble said...

Sources told News10 Alliance Title Company is shutting down operations in the Sacramento area effective immediately.

At one time, Alliance was the number one title company in Sacramento based on market share according to one longtime employee.

According to the company's Web site, Alliance Title was founded in 1996 and at its peak operated nearly 200 branches in 34 California counties with 2,000 employees.

It's unclear what other Alliance offices in the state, if any, are also affected.

One employee who was laid off Monday said she was told there's not enough work to continue supporting office operations.

"I've never seen it this bad," she said.

A receptionist at the company's headquarters in Campbell said no one was available to offer additional information.

"They're all out in the field right now," she said.

Alliance Title had already closed its office in Elk Grove and employees in the Galt office had been put on notice they would soon be transferred to another office and their office would be closed.

jetcityqueen said...

"Financially healthy" yea right...sounds like the same crap C & C tried desperately to get their investors to believe, when they were trying to make the Cal State fantasy happen.

BorderCollieSystems said...

Me: Hi Boss, what's up?
Boss: Start packing, we close operations statewide and Nevada at 5:00, your check is being went via FedEx and at you house now (note: she was getting "canned" also).
Me: Uh, I'm not sticking around. I'm going to go cash that check before it bounces.
(note: my 50 hours of vacation time was not in it).
5 years of service. Jerry & Patty: Thanks.

Bakersfield Bubble said...

Getting tons of searches and hits on this topic.

Here is some more information from around the state - hat tip Lander at the Sacramento Blog

From the Modesto Bee:

Alliance Title Co. went out of business, laid off all its employees and closed its doors Thursday. At least 30 employees in Stanislaus County, plus hundreds more elsewhere in the state, lost their jobs with less than one day's notice.
Terry Harwell, division president for Alliance in Stanislaus County...said he was shocked to hear his four offices -- three in Modesto and one in Turlock -- were being closed and that he and everyone else was being let go. "We're the market-share leader in Stanislaus County, so it didn't seem viable that they would close us down," Harwell said. "We were on pace to break even this month."
In 2005, at the peak of the real estate buying and refinancing boom, Alliance had more than 200 offices and about 2,500 employees in California, Harwell said. That included 10 branches and about 165 employees in Stanislaus County. "Two years ago, we made a ton of money," said Harwell, noting that Alliance raked in $370 million that year.

Then the housing market began crashing, and Alliance started slashing staff. Harwell closed six Stanislaus County offices and eliminated more than 100 jobs this year. He also closed six branches in Merced and Fresno counties. About 14 employees in a Lathrop title service center were let go Thursday...[E]scrow transactions dropped dramatically the last two years. In August 2006, Alliance processed 715 transactions in Stanislaus County, but that declined to 348 in August 2007.

From the Redding Record Searchlight (hat tip Suzanne):
Fredericka Martin of Real Estate 1 in Redding, who worked in the title insurance industry for 25 years before becoming a real estate agent, speculated that the housing slowdown had little to do with Alliance Title closing. "Normally with a big company, if they are having problems, somebody will buy them," Martin said. "When they just close the doors, something went bad and I have no idea."
But Bob Martin of Summit Mortgage in Red Bluff said the chilled housing market had everything to do with Alliance Title's demise. "More people are losing their homes. ... We are in the worst real estate market in 20 years," Martin said. "A title company has to sell title insurance policies to stay alive. It's the lack of business; it's a dead market."