When it comes to the "buyback wars" between originators and secondary market investors, the best defense is a good offense. And that entails hiring outside due diligence firms, attorneys, and an army of in-house underwriters whose mission is to refute repurchase claims and fight off allegations that a loan was fraudulent and therefore should be bought back.

But the whole issue of buybacks is becoming increasingly complicated. For instance, four of the nation's five largest originators — Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase and CitiMortgage — find themselves in the odd position of being on both the receiving end of repurchase requests and getting their correspondents to acquire delinquent loans.

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