The American Securitization Forum (ASF), a trade body representing issuers, investors and servicers in the securitization industry, launched a new standardized universal code that will identify information about mortgage and other loans that are securitized. The ASF Loan Identification Number Code (LINC), a 16-digit identification code, captures the loan type, origination date and country of origin. The code is designed to create a unique ID for a wide range of loans that can be pooled and sold into the capital markets. It's part of ASF's Project RESTART, which aims to improve information flows to investors through enhanced disclosure and reporting. The ASF LINC is designed to allow investors to follow a specific loan throughout its life, according to Tom Deutsche, deputy executive director of ASF. "This is an important step towards ASF Project RESTART's ultimate goal, which is to help rebuild investor confidence in mortgage and asset-backed securities, restore the capital flows to the securitization markets which are essential to our economic recovery and, ultimately, increase the availability of affordable credit to all Americans," Deutsche said in a statement. The code is the product of a partnership between ASF and Standard & Poor's Fixed Income Risk Management Services (FIRMS), an analytics and research unit separate from S&P's ratings business. ASF in July announced it tasked the firm to create a method of identifying the origination timeline of a securitized asset. ASF said at the time FIRMS would design a system that assigns the unique ID number to the loan at no cost to issuers, and that is linked to the Committee on Uniform Security Identification Procedures (CUSIP) and International Securities Identification Number (ISIN) numbers of the security where the mortgage is packaged. Write to Diana Golobay.