As the rise in delinquent credit card accounts mounts, the marketplace is responding with a panoply of alternatives for banks to get rid of bad credit card debt, including selling it through brokers, online or at auction.

Banks are even turning charged-off non-performing debt into performing assets by participating in forward-flow contracts, relatively new products that can totally eliminate collection agencies from the debt recovery process. Of $40 billion in charged-off bad debt in 1996, an estimated $4 billion was marketed and sold. With another $100 billion in delinquent credit card paper waiting to be charged off, it's no wonder brokers are smiling.

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