The Mortgage Bankers Association said Monday that it has laid off 20 staff members for financial reasons.

"The real estate finance industry and MBA member firms have been facing tough economic challenges," the trade group said.

"Over the course of the past year, MBA has aggressively implemented rigorous cost cutting measures, from streamlining program expenses to eliminating lower priority product offerings. … We deeply regret the need for today's reduction in force and the resulting departure of so many of our talented and dedicated employees," the group said. It laid off 20 staff members last year.

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