Independent mortgage banking firms earned an average profit of $917 per loan originated in the second quarter, a 51% increase from the first quarter as production volumes increased and personnel costs fell.

But according to Marina Walsh, associate vice president of industry analysis for the Mortgage Bankers Association, lenders may've been too careful on the cost side of the business. "As things ramped up they may not have had enough personnel on hand to handle the volume," she said in an interview with National Mortgage News.

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