A cooperative of midsize mortgage companies called Lenders One has formed a Washington advocacy group to ensure that legislators and regulators understand their struggle to compete with the mega-lenders.Most of the members of the newly formed National Alliance of Independent Mortgage Bankers are members of the Mortgage Bankers Association and will continue to be MBA members, according to Scott Stern, chief executive of the alliance and of Lenders One, which is based in St. Louis. However, the alliance members feel an additional voice is needed to enable midsize mortgage shops to thrive in a rapidly consolidating industry, he said. The NAIMB has hired consultant Howard Glaser, former head of government affairs for the MBA, to represent the alliance in Washington. Alliance members are particularly concerned about federal pre-emption, and they support legislation that would create a national lending standard for all mortgage lenders. However, the NAIMB would oppose legislation to strengthen regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac if the bill would increase the cost of mortgage capital or constrain Fannie's and Freddie's ability to offer innovative programs, Mr. Stern said.

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