WASHINGTON - The head of one of the nation's largest subprime lenders said Wednesday that he is willing to sacrifice millions of dollars to prove his business is legitimate.

Ameriquest Mortgage Co. committed itself to lending $360 million to approximately 10,000 low-income families in 10 cities over the next three years. Under an agreement with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, the company will keep points and fees under 3%, prohibit prepayment penalties and balloon payments, and offer interest rates that are 50 basis points below its competitors'.

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