Mortgage Brokers Find Housing Slump Means Less Customers–and a Reduced Role

Baltimore–As the housing slump continues through its second year, mortgage brokers in Baltimore and other cities are finding less borrowers to match with loans–and are struggling as a result, the Baltimore Sun reports.Falling prices have made it difficult for homeowners to refinance; excessive foreclosures have prompted lenders to reduce mortgage products and increase lending restrictions.Many of the changes have greatly affected brokers–who also have been criticized for their part in the relaxed lending methods that nabbed many homeowners loans that they couldn’t afford.In addition, some large lenders are no longer accepting loans brokers have arranged. Bank of America stopped on Jan. 1; National City closed its wholesale division the next day. Washington Mutual is currently arranging to stop using mortgage brokers, the Sun said.