u.s. mortgage lenders fret over gloomy future

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    U.S. mortgage lenders fret over gloomy future
    Wednesday October 22, 2:05 pm ET
    By Aleksandrs Rozens

    SAN DIEGO, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Falling demand and job losses are on the horizon for the U.S. mortgage industry after what promises to be a record-breaking 2003, and players are bracing for the worst.

    "There will be a blood bath," said Thomas Meyer, chief executive officer at Homebuilders Financial Network, a Miami Lakes, Florida-based company that offers mortgage services to homebuilders.

    Some lenders have already taken preemptive steps, slashing jobs and consolidating with rivals to stay competitive amid a decline in demand for new mortgages. Some industry experts attending this weeks Mortgage Bankers Association's annual convention here say the industry could lose half of its business next year.

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