Oak Brook, Illinois--New York-based Fitch Ratings says franchisee defaults quadrupled to reach a record high of $900 million for the 12 months ending September 2001, up from $200 million the previous year. Quick-service restaurant franchisees accounted for 41 percent of defaults, the most among the industries serviced by the 11 lenders involved in the 2001 Fitch Franchise Loan Securitization study. Defaults among QSR franchisees occurred within seven systems, according to Fitch. Taco Bell franchisees accounted for 42 percent of those defaults. -Chain Leader