Many mortgage executives have eagerly awaited the accounting profession's gift to the home loan business: a new treatment of servicing rights that could bolster reported earnings per share.

But along the way, the gift also became a burden that could cause earnings volatility. Simply put, mortgage companies can now put onto their books the value of any servicing on loans they originate, but they must also mark to market any portion of their portfolio, regardless of source, that has declined in market value.

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