Minimizing losses from bad loans in this economy can be an exercise in tapping water from a stone. But the process can be made slightly more fruitful when lenders can see a complete account of a consumer's financial health, as opposed to a snapshot of just one loan gone bad.

Firms that offer collections and loss mitigation tools - Fidelity National, First American, SAS, Fair Isaac, and others - are going through a renovation spurt that leverages all of a consumer's financial relationships to enable a holistic view that puts the troubled loan into a larger perspective, eschewing legacy systems that focused on a single product. "Financial institutions are starting to think across silos, and are seeing the value of viewing consumers across financial products," says Tom Wills, a senior analyst for security and fraud at Javelin Strategy & Research in San Francisco.

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