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What are Loan Servicers?

Servicers defined here in this New York Times article my Gretchen Morgansen
 Loan servicers act as intermediaries between borrowers and their lenders, collecting monthly payments and real estate taxes and forwarding them to the appropriate parties. As long as borrowers meet their payments, such operations typically run smoothly.

Very often the servicers are just extensions of the banks, with a different name.  It seems like it kills the free market idea but it happens all the time.  Whatever the servicers are doing is usually well know by the large financial institutions because that is who owns them.