In light of the weakening housing market, Fitch Ratings has identified three major predicators of mortgage loan defaults -- FICO scores, credit sector and combined loan-to-value ratios (CLTVs). These are all emphasized in both the rating agency's new criteria as well as its loan default model.

These criteria are documented in a new report just released by Fitch, which will also be making its model publicly available to market participants as part of its efforts to bring greater transparency to Fitch's rating methodology.

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