For community bankers, it was always a romantic notion, the idea that they could give mortgage lending short shrift and beat the big guys on commercial loans.

Mortgage lending is looking pretty good to these bankers now. So much so that, postcrisis, a number of them are re-entering the business or expanding existing mortgage operations. In some instances, banks have even accelerated lending outside of their core markets, sometimes well beyond, despite the inherent risks.

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