When Jack Conway started lending to home buyers in Massachusetts 18 years ago, his money was in heavy demand. Banks were under the gun. They basically had no money to lend.

How times have changed. Early last month, pummeled by the state's largest banks, Mr. Conway sold his Northern Mortgage Co., the lending operation he started in 1976. The move was a signal to the dwindling number of independent mortgage bankers that their days may be numbered.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.