Refi boom a bonanza for lenders

Profit per loan up 635%

The refinancing boom helped independent mortgage lenders boost profits from $148 per loan at the tail end of last year to $1,088 per loan in the first three months of 2009, the Mortgage Bankers Association said.

Refinancings made up 66 percent of mortgage originations during the first quarter, compared with 42 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to an MBA report measuring the performance of independent mortgage bankers and subsidiaries of banks, thrifts and hedge funds.