Extensive research into pre-bankruptcy cardholder behavior shows that consistent patterns occur 18, six and three months prior to bankruptcy, according to findings from San Rafael, CA-based Fair, Isaac & Co.

The research was conducted by Fair, Isaac while developing bankruptcy prediction solutions. Examining accounts with two years of payment and usage behavior, it found that, on average, a "ramping up" of card usage and a decline in the amount of monthly payments began about 18 months prior to bankruptcy. Conversely, half of the sample group of bankrupts did not make any card purchases in the six months before filing. The findings also revealed a subset of accountsonever delinquent more than one cycle in the two years prior to bankruptcyothat showed the same ramping up trends, but slowed card usage three months before filing. FB

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