Last summer rumors were spreading that a private equity firm had amassed $1 billion in cash and was eyeing investments in mortgage banking firms. A year later it appears that no such deals were struck by the unnamed fund, but that hasn't stopped the talk about PE firms still looking at the sector.

"The PE firms are still out there," one Texas-based investment banker told National Mortgage News. "I get calls from them every week. They put us on retainer and we talk."

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