Private label credit card issuer Conseco lost its CFO yesterday and may face a dramatic cut in its credit ratings as bankruptcy rumors begin to surface. CFO Chuck Chokel abruptly decided to resign Wednesday after serving in the position less than one year. Moody’s Investors Service said yesterday it may cut the company’s credit ratings by two or more notches if it cannot provide assurances to its accountant, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, by the end of this month, that it will be able to generate enough cash to meet its future obligations. The company is struggling with more than $6 billion in debt. Conseco needs to raise about $400 million to make debt payments due in 2002. The company is exploring the sale of its variable-annuity business.Last week, Conseco reported its retail credit unit, which includes its private label card business, ended 2001 with receivables of $2.695 billion compared to $1.776 billion one year ago, a 51.7% increase. Charge-offs rose 47% during the same period from 5.30% for 4/00 to 7.80% for the fourth quarter 2001. Delinquency (60+ day) was up 11.5%, from 3.04% at year-end 2000 to 3.39% at 12/31/01. For complete details on Conseco’s 4Q/01 results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).