Mortgage originators believe regulatory burdens remain the industry's greatest concern in 2012, according to recruiting firm Hammerhouse's second annual survey of originator opinions. Hammerhouse is a national headhunting firm that places originators and other financial professionals into positions throughout the industry. After interviewing 400 active mortgage loan originators for the survey, Hammerhouse claimed a majority of those surveyed, or approximately 56%, believe the correspondent mortgage banker structure is the best system for an originator to tap into, given today's current market structure. While 51% cited further oversight and regulation as a top concern for originators in 2012, 29% said finding a committed and stable mortgage lender to work with remains one of the areas of utmost concern. The remaining 12% and 8% said product flexibility and raising interest rates are top concerns. As for what they expect in 2012, most originators desire further clarification on regulatory issues impacting the mortgage industry. Others want a link to a financially secure lending institutions and to work with regional lenders as opposed to large national banks, the survey said. "Mortgage loan originators have had a difficult couple of years," said Drew Watherhouse, managing director of Hammerhouse. "The housing crisis and regulatory responses have led to a 50% decline in the ranks of originators, according to the U.S. Bureau of labor Statistics. However, those that remain are focused on rebuilding the mortgage industry to make it the best it can be by demanding that lenders are executing effectively for consumers." Forty-two percent of those surveyed said they would change their place of employment if they found a firm with a better corporate culture and leadership environment. Write to Kerri Panchuk.