About a dozen institutions - including Citicorp, MBNA Corp., and NationsBank Corp. - have formed a coalition to deal collectively with bankruptcy issues.

The program, called Bankruptcy Prevention and Counseling, focuses on credit card debt, which has been a growing concern - one that many institutions have also been addressing within MasterCard and Visa. Some observers say that if current delinquency and bankruptcy trends continue, such mass-issued, unsecured credit poses the greatest hazard to lenders.

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