These are worrisome times for mortgage bankers. Realtors are nipping at their heels to write home loans, a Republican Congress threatens to cut back the FHA mortgage insurance program, and even the once sacrosanct deduction for mortgage interest is under attack.

"Everybody is worried about their turf," said Paul S. Reid, the new president of the Mortgage Bankers Association, in a telephone interview from his office in Richmond, Va. "The mortgage banker has got concerns about his role in the process," as do real estate agents, mortgage insurance companies, lawyers, and others.

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