In order to control profitability growth, it is important for lenders to manage expenses and product quality, according to panelists at the 2nd Annual Subprime Symposium in Las Vegas, sponsored by National Mortgage News and Origination News.Together, the companies on the panel -- Option One Mortgage, First Franklin Financial, Centex Home Equity, and Accredited Home Lenders -- reported a total of $18.2 billion in originations for the first quarter. Growth in origination volumes has caused dramatic margin compression in the past year, the speakers said. Given the growing appetite for products in the nonprime sector, the broker community is developing products that challenge risk portfolios. "You have to have enough data before you roll out new products," said John Vella, chief sales manager at Irvine, Calif.-based Option One. "Lenders in the subprime market will continue to do well if they stick with what's made them successful. Don't be over-conservative, but don't just grow for the sake of growing." Joe McKone, chief operations officer at San Jose, Calif.-based First Franklin, said his company is focusing on infrastructure and the back end of its operations plan. "We are focusing on less and getting more done," Mr. McKone said. "Think about how much you can realistically get done. Prioritize." Option One can be found online at http://www.oomc.com, and First Franklin can be found at http://www.ff.com.

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