While servicers quickly focused on the impact of the tax rules for mortgage servicing laid down last year by the Internal Revenue Service, many did not realize that the rules have a major effect on purchasers of servicing rights from loan originators.

"I think it has been one of those IRS rulings that people have been slow in understanding," said John S. Hopkins, president of a Bethesda, Md., firm that specializes in the sale and acquisition of mortgage servicing rights.

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