E*Trade Financial ( ETFC) is ramping up its mortgage offerings once again, offering new loans through a third-party mortgage outsourcer. The company's thrift subsidiary on Friday launched an initiative to offer conventional fixed-rate loans, adjustable-rate mortgages and loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, among others, a customer service representative reached by TheStreet.com said. E*Trade will not be providing riskier types of loans such as home equity lines of credit or construction loans, the employee said. PHH Corp. ( PHH) of Mount Laurel, N.J. will take care of most aspects of the loan, including the processing, underwriting and servicing, while E*Trade will market the loans and help collect the necessary borrower information, E*Trade spokeswoman Pam Erickson said. The program is targeted to current E*Trade Bank customers, but borrowers need not be a customer, she said. Providing mortgages through a third-party allows the company to be a full-service banking outfit without the risk, since the loans will not be on their balance sheet, Erickson says. E*Trade said last year that it was exiting the retail mortgage origination business and would use a third-party to originate mortgages in the future. "As a thrift bank, we think we have an obligation to offer a mortgage product," Erickson says. "We have always believed that mortgages are an important product to offer customers." E*Trade, which forayed into mortgage lending and securities business during the housing boom earlier this decade, has been one of the worst-hit companies since the beginning of the credit crisis. It was forced to sell a stake to hedge fund Citadel Investment Group after taking huge writedowns on its asset-backed securities portfolio, primarily due to its collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs, and second-lien securities. The company has also been hobbled by delinquencies and defaults in its home equity loan portfolio.