The Lenders One mortgage cooperative said it increased membership and originated $77.1bn in new mortgages last year, more than double its 2008 total. St. Louis-based Lenders One, a national alliance of mortgage bankers, correspondent lenders and mortgage products and services suppliers, added 47 new members, bringing its total membership to 156 institutions. The group uses its collective bargaining power to leverage preferred vendor agreements with mortgage industry service providers. “The mortgage industry continued to make headlines in 2009 with high refinance volumes, low interest rates, slow purchase activity and the first-time homebuyer tax credit, to name a few,” said Lenders One CEO Scott Stern. “After emerging from the 2008 shakeups, our members were quick to adjust their business models and eager to learn how to capitalize on available market opportunities. Each participant in the Lenders One network — mortgage bankers, investors and vendors — worked together to meet the needs of prospective borrowers in their respective business arenas.” Also in 2009, Stern launched the Community Mortgage Lenders of America, an advocacy group to lobby, advocate and regulatory counseling organization for independent and community mortgage bankers, both banks and non-banks. It’s one of two groups formed last year for such purposes. The other, the Community Mortgage Banking Project, was formed by Former executives from PMI Group, Fannie Mae (FNM) and Countrywide. Write to Austin Kilgore.