Subprime borrowers are more middle-of-the-road than lenders and regulators suspect, a recent benchmarking study indicates.

In fact, the average subprime borrower is "middle-income and middle- age," said James C. Weicher, economist at the Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C. "It looks like a cross section of middle America," he said, referring to the borrower pool studied in the institute's Home Equity Lender Leadership Organization survey.

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