DENVER – Underscoring its continuing problems as a packager of subprime auto loans to credit unions, Centrix Financial confirmed last week that it is laying off another 250 employees, representing a third of its current work force.

“This remains a difficult time for us,” said a Centrix spokeswoman noting the suburban Denver firm remains on the hunt for “potential partners or capital infusion” as the company pursues several avenues to restore financial health.

The firm which had peaked at 1,500 employees, reduced its work force between 900-1,000 at the time of the latest rollback which became effective June 16.

Centrix has long identified NCUA’s subprime alert in May 2005 as the factor “which really hurt us.” The spokesman added that the agency so far has failed to alter the regulation in any meaningful way since then.

The latest employee cutbacks for the firm come on top of a similar layoff of 150 in October. The June 16 layoffs are across the board impacting both managers and line personnel, said Centrix.

Since last June, Centrix has been working to expand its lending partnerships and bring banks into the fold, but that process could take nine months to a year, she said.

That exact status of Centrix’s sponsorship role in the fifth annual Centrix Financial Denver Grand Prix auto race Aug. 11-13 was unclear with the event becoming highly popular and with Centrix doing extensive auto sports marketing in the past because of its ties to auto lending.

One notable departure in Centrix’s senior staff has been its top Washington lobbyist, Geoff Bacino, executive vice president-legislative and regulatory affairs and former NCUA Board member, who was recently nominated by President Bush to the Federal Housing Finance Board. Former NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar, who has been a consultant for Centrix, is also not working for the firm any longer.