With Bank of America shedding mortgage servicing rights en masse, and a handful of other megabanks writing down their MSRs because of Basel III, prepayments and other concerns, one might think that the asset must stink to high heaven. Well, think again.

Quietly, dozens of small- to medium-sized mortgage firms have been contemplating the unthinkable: keeping the new MSRs they create instead of selling their loans servicing-released.

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