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Countrywide Sees Big Charge

Firing 12,000 people doesn't come cheap.

Countrywide Financial

(CFC)

plans to take up to $150 million in charges to fire thousands upon thousands of workers.

According to a filing with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

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, the Calabasas, Calif.-based lender expects to report $30 million to $35 million in one-time termination costs, $73 million to $89 million in lease termination expenses and $22 million to $26 million in fixed asset disposals an other miscellaneous costs.

Countrywide, the nation's largest lender, announced in September that it planned to slash its workforce by 20% as mortgage-origination volume plunged. Investors have fled the market for mortgage-backed securities since defaults spiked late last year, saddling holders of the riskiest debt with huge losses.

The news comes as CEO Angelo Mozilo engages in an orgy of options-related stock selling. Mozilo has made more than $100 million on stock sales this year, even as Countrywide shares have tumbled more than 50%.

Countrywide plans to take about $57 million of the charge in the third quarter. The rest will be recognized in the fourth quarter, it said in the filing. Countrywide expects to face $65 million to $90 million in "future cash outlays" on the charge.

Observers are expecting the lender will likely post a huge third-quarter loss from severance costs, mark-to-market writedowns and credit losses. Analysts on average are expecting Countrywide to post a loss of 97 cents a share when it reports earnings next week, according to Thomson Financial.

Shares closed down 25 cents on Tuesday at $18.09.