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10-Year Anniversary at

DALLAS -- (Dec. 10, 2008) When Sam Garcia registered the "" domain name 10 years ago, he had no idea that during the next decade U.S. mortgage originations would reach their highest levels ever or that the mortgage sector would subsequently be completely devastated.

On Dec. 10, 1998, a domain registration was filed with Network Solutions to secure the Web address The domain was one of dozens registered by Garcia -- who had already spent nearly two decades in real estate finance.

He went full-time with in 2000. The site started out as a Web log, identifying mortgage news at other publications and linking to the original stories. But soon, Garcia was writing stories himself as he began to build of a network of freelance reporters who also wrote articles for the trade publication.

Following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, mortgage rates tumbled and the mortgage industry began the biggest refinance wave in U.S. history.

As rates fell to their lowest levels in decades, refinances reached the highest level ever -- with the Mortgage Bankers Association's Refinance Index topping out at 9,977.8 during the week ended May 30, 2003. So much activity meant the mortgage industry was flush with profits.

But as mortgage rates subsequently rose, origination activity dwindled. Faced with the decline, originators, investment bankers and investors looked to subprime and Alt-A programs to make up lost business. But in order to maintain an adequate pool of prospective borrowers, underwriting guidelines were loosened.

The deterioration in underwriting quality helped temporarily boost production until late 2006 -- when recent originations began defaulting at an increasing pace.

As mortgage bankers began to face an overwhelming number of requests for loan repurchases, many began to collapse. Between 2006 and 2008, tracked the failure of nearly 267 mid- to large-sized mortgage companies.

Many of the companies that survived were forced to reduce headcount. Mortgage industry employment went from a high of 535,400 in October 2005 to 343,400 during October 2008.

Today, the mortgage industry meltdown has taken a back seat to the global economic recession.

During the past decade, has accumulated nearly 9,000 pages of mortgage industry news -- with stories authored by dozens of reporters. The trade publication has been cited or quoted by dozens of major news publications including the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times. In 2005, Business Week magazine featured in a story.

Today, an estimated audience of 40,000 users reads around 1 million pages every month. Among the most-read current subjects are mortgage statistics, mortgage litigation and mortgage employment. Readers also frequently access articles about foreclosures, secondary marketing and mergers and acquisitions.

Read the latest mortgage industry headlines at:

Founded in 1998, is a dominant online news source for the mortgage industry. Around one million mortgage business news pages are viewed monthly at and its affiliate publications.

Sam Garcia
3811-700 Turtle Creek Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75219


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