SAN FRANCISCO - Hamilton Financial Services Corp. announced it will lay off about 120 employees as part of a restructuring and cost-reduction plan for its Hamilton Financial Corp. unit.

The plans call for consolidating processing, underwriting, and funding operations into eight wholesale production centers, from 18. Hamilton also will close its national correspondent division in Minneapolis, along with its retail loan origination branches in Virginia, Maryland, and Idaho.

Hamilton has been hit especially hard by the mortgage slump because it was heavily concentrated on wholesale lending, which has been more dependent on refinancings than retail purchase originations, an area in which it did only small business.

The parent company announced a loss of $5.85 million, or 97 cents a share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30.

Before the restructuring, the company had 28 origination offices. The Boston regional office will continue to serve the Northeast and Middle Atlantic regions. Customers in the Southeast will be handled by the Atlanta office; those in Texas will be served by the regional office based in Dallas; borrowers in other parts of the Southwest will be served by the Phoenix office.

The Denver and Kansas City offices will serve the Midwest. The Northern California regional office will now handle all of California, and the Seattle office will serve brokers in the Pacific Northwest.

William Rast, president, said, "As a result of this restructuring, the company believes it will optimize its production capabilities while at the same time achieving greater cost and operating efficiencies."

Hamilton announced earlier that it would work with Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. to analyze strategic alternatives, including the possible sale of the company.

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