Despite the liquidity crisis of 1998, which most agree was responsible for last year's decline in home-equity issuance, the subprime home-equity sector is coming on strong, promising more action this year, analysts said - granted interest rates don't lull origination.

"Certainly [the subprime industry] is in a lot better shape than it was a year ago, in the sense of having resolved some of the headline risk issues and some of the capitilization risk," said Tom Zimmerman, an ABS analyst in PaineWebber's mortgage strategy group.

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