Mortgage Originator

DEFINITION of 'Mortgage Originator'

An institution or individual that works with a borrower to complete a mortgage transaction. A mortgage originator can be either a mortgage broker or a mortgage banker, and is the original mortgage lender. Mortgage originators are part of the primary mortgage market.

BREAKING DOWN 'Mortgage Originator'

The primary mortgage market is highly fragmented in the United States. While there are several large firms that originate a large percentage of mortgages, there are thousands of smaller firms and individuals, which also account for a large percentage of total mortgage originations.

Tallying up what percentage of originations belong to which mortgage originator depends on how an origination is counted. A large percentage of newly originated mortgages are immediately sold into the secondary mortgage market, where they might be counted by the institution that purchases the mortgage in the secondary market as an origination, thus double-counting the origination.

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