By: Kari Michel
In August, consumer bankruptcy filings were up by 24 percent over the past year and are expected to increase to 1.4 million this year. “Consumers continue to turn to bankruptcy as a shield from the sustained financial pressures of today’s economy,” said American Bankruptcy Institute’s Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano.
What are lenders doing to protect themselves from bankruptcy losses? In my last blog, I talked about the differences and advantage of using both risk and bankruptcy scores. Many lenders are mitigating and managing bankruptcy losses by including bankruptcy scores into their standard account management programs.
Here are some ways lenders are using bankruptcy scores:
• Incorporating them into existing internal segmentation schemes for enhanced separation and treatment assessment of high risk accounts;
• Developing improved strategies to act on high-bankruptcy-risk accounts
• In order to manage at-risk consumers proactively and
• Assessing low-risk customers for up-sell opportunities.
Implementation of a bankruptcy score is recommended given the economic conditions and expected rise in consumer bankruptcy. When conducting model validations/assessments, we recommend that you use the model that best rank orders bankruptcy or pushes more bankruptcies into the lowest scoring ranges. In validating our Experian/Visa BankruptcyPredict score, results showed BankruptcyPredict was able to identify 18 to 30 percent more bankruptcy compared to other bankruptcy models. It also identified 12 to 33 percent more bankruptcy compared to risk scores in the lowest five percent of the score range. This supports the need to have distinct bankruptcy scores in addition to risk scores.