Financial Insights Warns Home Equity Lenders May Face Millions in Fraud Losses

FRAMINGHAM, MA – FEBRUARY 5, 2007 – Leading independent research and advisory firm, Financial Insights, an IDC company, today announced the release of a report examining the results of new research into emerging fraud within home equity loan portfolios. Essential guidance is provided to lenders on how to recognize and manage this growing threat.

"Mortgage and home equity loans are similar products," states Christine Pratt, research director for Consumer Banking and Credit and the author of the report, Combating Fraud in Home Equity Lending: The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend. "The real differences are in the lien position of the mortgage and in the way that the customer gains access to the funds. It stands to reason then that fraud in home equity lending would look very much like fraud in mortgage lending. In most cases that is true, but what isn't true is that home equity lenders are not always mortgage lenders, or that they know how to defend against fraud risk."

Mortgage fraud losses are climbing at an alarming rate as the attached figure, titled "Value of Mortgage Fraud Losses and Number of Cases Reported, 1999-2005," shows, and this is not good news for mortgage or home equity lenders. The report advises lenders of potential portfolio dangers, for example in re-discovered products such as reverse mortgages or in checking account fraud, and then details experienced third-party providers with solutions that may help.

Security concerns continue to be top of mind for all IT executives and are included in Financial Insights' annual Top 10 reports, which highlight strategic IT initiatives financial institutions are undertaking in 2007. In addition, Financial Insights Top 10 Webcasts are available in February as follows:

— Asia/Pacific Top 10 Strategic Initiatives for Insurance Webcast – February 6, 2007

— Worldwide Top 10 Strategic IT Initiatives for Banking – February 7, 2007

— Worldwide Top 10 Strategic IT Initiatives for Risk Management – February 8, 2007

— Worldwide Top 10 Strategic IT Initiatives for Capital Markets – February 14, 2007

The full report; Combating Fraud in Home Equity Lending: The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend (FIN204930, Financial Insights) is available to qualified members of the media. For your report copy or to register for one of the Top 10 webcasts contact Deborah Stark, 508-935-4318 or via email dstark@financial-insights.com

For more information on purchasing the report, contact sales@financial-insights.com.

About Financial Insights, an IDC company

Financial Insights provides independent research, custom consulting, and detailed multiclient studies on the technology issues and challenges facing the financial services industry. Their global research covers topics of strategic importance to corporate and retail banks, insurance carriers, asset management firms, securities and brokerage firms. Local practices in Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America and Canada add an in-depth regional viewpoint. Financial Insights, an IDC company, is headquartered in Framingham, Massachusetts, USA. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research, and exposition company. Visit www.financial-insights.com for more information.

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