Some regional banks happily stuck with the brokered-mortgage business abandoned by the largest financial institutions, saying they have the control over loan quality the big players found lacking.

"We've never lost interest," says Art Saitta, an assistant vice president and residential business development officer at Ridgewood Savings Bank in Queens, New York. Ridgewood knows its brokers and the neighborhoods they operate in well enough to feel confident it has enough control over loan quality in this channel, Saitta says.

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