Just about anyone who is in the residential mortgage business has heard by now the dire prediction made by Countrywide Credit Industries Inc. chairman and chief executive Angelo Mozilo that within five years the U.S. will have just five major servicers, down from about 150 today.These firms service $1 billion or more each in residential loans. Yes, it would seem that going to five from 150 is a pretty big deal, and yet another sign that the servicing pond is turning into a puddle.

Mozilo, who heads the publicly traded Countrywide, is one of the most well-respected mortgage managers operating today. When he talks, people listen. And he isn't the only one who believes in the "five in five" theory. Kerry Killinger, the head of mega-thrift Washington Mutual Inc. has said as much, as have other well-respected industry players.

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.