LOS ANGELES — PennyMac, AmeriHome Mortgage and Stearns Lending have several things in common.
All are among the nation’s largest mortgage lenders — and none are banks. They’re part of a growing class of alternative lenders that now extend more than 4 in 10 home loans.
Unlike their subprime forebears, the firms maintain that they adhere to strict new lending standards to protect against mass defaults.
Still, some observers worry as housing markets heat up across the country and in Southern California, where prices are up by a third since 2012.
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