Key findings:

  • Top executives from the 25 biggest pre-crisis subprime lenders — including at least 14 founders or CEOs — are back in the mortgage business at mortgage companies that are less regulated than banks.
  • Many of these lenders make loans that don’t meet the strict standards required to earn a government guarantee — loans banks have largely abandoned.
  • Mortgage lending remains far safer than before the crisis with many of the worst loan products banned outright. But lenders are beginning to loosen their standards, and experts say the industry will find ways over the coming years to offer ever-riskier products.