Most financial services companies wouldn't consider themselves "lucky" to have bought two mortgage providers last year amid a wicked housing slump. Then again, maybe they didn't have MetLife Inc.'s ulterior motives.

"Our timing really couldn't have been any better," said Donnalee A. DeMaio, the president of MetLife Bank and a member of its board of directors. "Our mortgage business has really taken off," particularly refinancings, she said.

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