Nonbank financial firms spent years lobbying against tougher regulation and stricter capital requirements, arguing that their emerging dominance in mortgage lending didn’t pose a risk to the financial system.

Now, many of those companies say they are in desperate need of a bailout to stave off bankruptcy and a potential collapse of the U.S. housing market.

Any rescue might not come quickly, as regulators are holding off on providing additional help to see if policies already put in place ease the industry’s expected cash crunch, according to people familiar with the matter. That could lead to anxious moments for Quicken Loans, Freedom Mortgage, Mr Cooper Group Inc. and other nonbank mortgage firms.

Federal mortgage watchdogs didn’t predict a pandemic like coronavirus grinding the

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