Atlantic Residential Mortgage Corp. has started using MLN Automated Systems Inc.'s loan processing software for laptop computers to make originations in the field.

The Baltimore lender will be one of the biggest companies using the Windows-based program, Mortgage Express Laptop.

The biggest user to date is Margaretten & Co., Perth Amboy, N.J.

The accessibility of the laptop-based software and the functionality of its point-and-click Windows operation promise to cut office costs and ease training, said John Gentile, a principal at MLN.

'Time to Streamline'

"The refinance boom is apparently over and it's time to streamline," Mr. Gentile said.

"What better way to cut costs than to do twice the amount of work without twice the people."

MLN, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based vendor that specializes in mortgage technology, introduced Mortgage Express in 1991.

But it has only been in the last few months that the vendor's core product has gained the acceptance of such giants as Atlantic and Margaretten. Mr. Gentile said that deals with mortgage institutions even larger than these were in the works.

According to Brenda Fennell, a vice president for Atlantic, the use of this software is merely the next step in fully computerizing the entire loan process.

"It's a matter of survival of the fittest," she said. "If you don't stay fit, you won't survive."

Job Cuts

The ability to handle the loan processing from remote locations by laptops will allow Atlantic to eliminate administrative positions in 10 offices, Ms. Fennell added.

Atlantic loan officers will use the Mortgage Express software with the vendor's marketing applications to handle mass mailings, spreadsheets, and other loan issues.

MLN plans to release an updated version of the software in the third quarter. The new version will have a credit bureau interface, an expanded product and pricing screen, and a new format.

"The days of paper origination are going to be a thing of the past," Mr. Gentile said.

"All the big boys are looking for a computer loan origination product."

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