Getting out of the cyclical home loan industry is easy. Hunkering down to do battle in the face of shrinking profit margins, intense competition, and relatively high interest rates is not.

But First Mortgage Corp., a small lender in this town outside Los Angeles, has decided to do things the hard way. It has restructured its management and plans to enter new markets and add branches during the next two years as droves of larger lenders exit the industry.

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