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BenchMark Readies Home-Equity Study

BenchMark Consulting Inter-national here has launched its annual home-equity and consumer lending benchmark program. The company said this year's program will examine data from over a dozen leading home-equity lenders.

Jim Leath, consumer lending and mortgage banking practice manager for BenchMark, said this year's analysis will examine how customers are handled through all areas of the lending cycle, looking at more risk and product-based information.

"We'll be examining how quickly the newer, 'higher score-band' products process through the cycle compared to more traditional products," Mr. Leath said in a news release.

BenchMark will examine nine areas for this year's program, including:

* Participant/product profile and risk.

* Application processing.

* Vendor and document management.

* Underwriting.

* Document preparation.

* Review and booking.

* Equity turnaround times.

* Collections.

* Recovery, bankruptcy and foreclosure.

BenchMark said there is still time for a limited number of lenders to join the program.

BenchMark Consulting International, founded in 1988, is a management consulting firm that claims to improve the profitability of its clients in the financial services industry through the delivery of management decision making information and change management services. The company says its expertise is in the designing, managing and measuring of operational processes.

The firm has worked with 35 of the top 50 U.S. banks based on asset size. It has also worked with the five largest Canadian banks and more than 40 European organizations as well as with companies in Latin America, Asia and Australia. The company, a division of Fidelity Information Services, has dual headquarters in Atlanta and Munich, Germany.

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