A study has found that residential mortgage loan officers who work for financial institutions saw a 17% increase in their total compensation over the past year.

This is according to the Crowe Horwath 2010 Comprehensive Financial Institution Compensation Survey; it is the 29th year for this study.

Thomas Reimink, a senior consultant in the company's Performance group, said "In the past year, mortgage activity was up, in part from the first-time homebuyers' tax credit and low prices prompting sales, but also in part from a significant uptick in mortgage refinancing.

"Even though the tax credit expired, rates are still at historic lows, so it's likely the mortgage activity will continue into the next year."

There were 340 institutions that participated in the survey, with 40% under $250 million in assets, 26% between $350 million and $500 million, 17% between $500 million and $1 billion and 17% over $1 billion.

The vast majority of participants, 251 institutions, was located in towns with populations under 100,000.

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