A desire to own their own businesses led many loan officers to become mortgage brokers during the industry's growth period. As brokering regains its footing, that entrepreneurial spirit is making a comeback.

"Everyone's saying 'gosh, the brokers are still thriving; I got to get back in it, and that's what's happening right now," said Mat Ishbia, president and CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage. Compliance worries is what held people back, he said.

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