As the home equity lending crisis deepens, institutions of all sizes are grappling with three customer issues: finding pockets of growth in a treacherous market, curbing losses by anticipating borrower distress before delinquency, and competing for collections in a world of multiple-creditor defaults.

Many lenders are inadvertently losing ground by sticking with the one-size-fits-all approaches that helped get them into trouble in the first place. By failing to distinguish among different categories of borrowers, lenders continue to misdirect their efforts with large numbers of customers and prospects who are unreceptive to blanket offers — or were never good candidates to begin with.

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