Upbeat housing data this week coupled with a renewed fighting spirit among survivors of this year’s subprime saga may signal an unexpected spring comeback for the beleaguered sector.

With as many as 20 percent of subprime lenders gone, or going, out of business in 2007, and resulting originations expected to slide up to $250 billion this year, the picture would seem weak-to-bleak for lending to borrowers with FICO scores below the prime threshold of 620.

Industry leaders, however, are beginning to coalesce around a positive theme, calling the slowdown in subprime a “correction

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