Just three banks accounted for more than half of all mortgages originated in 2010, while overall mortgage lending declined by about 22 percent for the year.

Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase held onto their positions as the nation's three biggest mortgage lenders, in that order, accounting for 56 percent of all mortgage closings in 2010, according to new figures from MortgageDaily.com. GMAC moved up to fourth place on the list, exchanging places with Citibank, which fell to fifth.

Wells Fargo by itself accounted for just over one-quarter of the total mortgage volume, writing $387 billion in home loans, although that represented an 8 percent decline from the lender's 2009 levels. Still, that was a smaller decline than the market as a whole, as total mortgage originations fell to $1.530 trillion for the year, down from 2009's total of $1.970 trillion.

The FHA accounted for 19.8 percent of all mortgage volume in 2010, up slightly from 19.1 percent the year before.

The fourth quarter of the year saw a strong rebound in mortgage originations, driven in large part by mortgage interest rates that fell to their lowest levels in more than half a century. Total mortgage originations showed a 22 percent gain over the third quarter of the year, and were up 30 percent on an annual basis, compared to the fourth quarter of 2009.

Published on February 16, 2011