Six months after it was bought by Charter One Bank, the former American Home Funding of Richmond, Va., is about to take a big step toward fulfilling its new parent's goal.

The mortgage company's 120 loan officers are still doing business the old-fashioned way: They fill out paper applications, then hand them off to loan processors who enter the information into a mainframe. But next month the loan officers will begin typing borrowers' applications on laptops, said Richard Powers, chairman of Charter One Mortgage.

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