Although nonprime lending is enjoying an unprecedented run, forces are converging that could bring the sector to its knees, according to speakers at SourceMedia's Subprime Lending Symposium in Miami Beach.Keynote speaker William Kile, executive vice president of mortgage banking at CitiFinancial Mortgage, said nonprime production could reach $700 billion next year. But Rod Alba, vice president for federal and regulatory affairs at ACC Capital Holdings, the parent of Ameriquest and Argent, among others, said subprime lenders are facing a "storm" of criticism from all levels of federal and state government, "all at once and each affecting the other." Critics "will be coming at us from all three sides -- judicially, regulatorily, and legislatively," Mr. Alba said. "But most of the activity will be at the state level." Jeff Naimon of the Washington law firm of Buckley Kolar agreed, saying the "regulatory environment for subprime is worsening" as states continue to pass new legislation or tighten old laws, and federal bank regulators become increasingly skeptical. In his keynote talk, Mr. Kile also said that, according to his company's preliminary estimates, interest-only loans will account for a third of all production this year. In the second quarter alone, he reported, more newly issued mortgage securities were backed by IO loans than by fixed-rate loans.

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