As mortgage banking giants were choking on home loans in late 2008, a subprime lender named Nationstar Mortgage Holdings was intent on getting deeper into the servicing business. Borrowing money at a steep interest rate, it bought from Fannie Mae rights to administer a small portfolio of deeply troubled government guaranteed loans.

Over the next four years, Nationstar outpaced its rivals in a growth spurt that has propelled it into the upper reaches of the servicing business with oversight of more than $200 billion in mortgages and a $3.2 billion market capitalization. Along the way, the Lewisville, Texas company has been lauded for its financial innovation, high-quality service and deep pockets of its majority owner - Fortress Investment Group, the publicly listed New York-based money management firm.

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