March 11, 2009 (Minneapolis, Minnesota and Atlanta, Georgia) — FICO (NYSE:FIC), the leading provider of analytics and decision management technology, and Equifax (NYSE: EFX), a global leader in information solutions, today introduced BEACON® Mortgage Score, a new FICO® industry score specifically designed to help mortgage lenders make the best possible risk decisions when addressing both current homeowners and those aspiring to own. Equifax plans to make the new score available in April to mortgage lenders and servicers for use in their loan servicing decisions including mortgage loan modifications.
The new score builds upon the predictive power of today’s BEACON® credit risk score which is widely used in the mortgage industry. By focusing specifically on mortgage risk performance, FICO scientists have developed a version of the BEACON score with significantly greater power for assessing mortgage repayment risk. In early validation testing, the performance of BEACON Mortgage Score was compared to that of the general risk BEACON score when predicting mortgage repayment risk specifically. The new score identified up to 25 percent more of the high-risk mortgages and home equity lines-of-credit that later became seriously delinquent. In light of today’s housing crisis, this new score can aid servicers in earlier identification of borrowers at risk, mitigating the high cost of consumers moving to foreclosure.
In business terms, these early results suggest that the use of BEACON Mortgage Score by the industry potentially can save it $1 billion in foreclosure costs and help keep an estimated 115,000 more struggling homeowners in their homes.
“One of the goals of our alliance with Equifax is to bring both companies’ assets and expertise to bear on the uncertainty facing lenders, borrowers and investors,” said Lisa Nelson, vice president of Global Scoring Solutions for FICO. “This new score is one of the first fruits of that alliance, and it couldn’t be more timely or valuable for mortgage lenders, loan servicers and the securitization industry.”
“Everyone in the mortgage industry is working hard to manage risk more effectively, which will help address the rising foreclosure rate while allowing servicers to keep their doors open to qualified new borrowers,” said Dann Adams, president of US Consumer Information Solutions for Equifax. “The BEACON Mortgage Score is an innovative solution with unprecedented visibility that will provide greater predictive strength at a time when the industry needs it most.”
To assist clients, BEACON® Mortgage Score retains the same 300-850® scoring range, minimum scoring criteria, and inquiry treatment as previous versions of the BEACON® score. However, to achieve its significant increase in predictive strength, FICO’s new scoring model assesses several additional data variables derived from Equifax consumer credit files, selected specifically to predict mortgage repayment risk. As a result, the model includes 15 additional score reason codes that help lenders understand and explain the scores. Businesses interested in more information about BEACON® Mortgage Score are welcome to contact FICO at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Equifax (www.equifax.com)
Equifax empowers businesses and consumers with information they can trust. A global leader in information solutions, employment and income verification and human resources business process outsourcing services, we leverage one of the largest sources of consumer and commercial data, along with advanced analytics and proprietary technology, to create customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.
Customers have trusted Equifax for over 100 years to deliver innovative solutions with the highest integrity and reliability. Businesses -large and small - rely on us for consumer and business credit intelligence, portfolio management, fraud detection, decisioning technology, marketing tools, HR/payroll services, and much more. We empower individual consumers to manage their personal credit information, protect their identity and maximize their financial well-being.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Equifax Inc. operates in the U.S. and 14 other countries throughout North America, Latin America and Europe. Equifax is a member of Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500® Index. Our common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol EFX.
FICO (NYSE:FIC) transforms business by making every decision count. FICO’s Decision Management solutions combine trusted advice, world-class analytics and innovative applications to give organizations the power to automate, improve and connect decisions across their business. Clients in 80 countries work with FICO to increase customer loyalty and profitability, cut fraud losses, manage credit risk, meet regulatory and competitive demands, and rapidly build market share. FICO also helps millions of individuals manage their credit health through the www.myFICO.com website. Learn more about FICO at www.FICO.com.
FICO Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Information
Except for historical information contained herein, the statements contained in this news release that relate to FICO or its business are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially, including the success of the Company’s Decision Management strategy and reengineering plan, the maintenance of its existing relationships and ability to create new relationships with customers and key alliance partners, its ability to continue to develop new and enhanced products and services, its ability to recruit and retain key technical and managerial personnel, competition, regulatory changes applicable to the use of consumer credit and other data, the failure to realize the anticipated benefits of any acquisitions, continuing material adverse developments in global economic conditions, and other risks described from time to time in FICO’s SEC reports, including its Annual Report on Form 10 K for the year ended September 30, 2008. If any of these risks or uncertainties materializes, FICO’s results could differ materially from its expectations. FICO disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
FICO, Fair Isaac, and 300-850 are trademarks or registered trademarks of FICO, in the United States and/or in other countries. Other product and company names herein may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
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