The number of loan brokerage firms operating in the United States is expected to fall by one-third, to 35,000, by the end of 2009, according to a report being readied by Wholesale Mortgage Research & Consulting, Columbia, Md.WMRC managing director Larry Pearl said if conditions in the mortgage market do not improve by early 2009, there may be just 30,000 brokerage firms left. WMRC says 53,000 firms were open and operating at the end of 2006. Those 53,000 firms averaged seven employees per shop.

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