Fewer mortgage lenders online

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It was bound to happen. In light of contracting trends in the credit industry mortgage lenders are “disappearing from the ranks of the biggest Internet advertisers,” Mortgage Daily.com reported this week.

At the same time, spending by some mortgage lead generators and their parent companies remained strong.

Nielsen Online’s Top 10 Advertisers by Estimated Spending for January 2008 included NexTag Inc. which spent $65.5 million online, up from $61.0 million from the prior month.

NexTag provides comparison shopping for prospective borrowers then sells the mortgage leads to loan originators. January’s figures are also 40 percent higher than those from mid 2007. InterActiveCorp, parent to lead developer, LendingTree, was the fourth biggest spender in January with $40.3 million spent in online advertising.

Countrywide Financial, Inc., hit hard by the credit crunch, ranked 8th on the list with close to $13.8 spent for online advertising for the month.