Citfed Mortgage is installing a lending system and an imaging package that are expected to improve the company's operations significantly.

Dayton, Ohio-based Citfed, a subsidiary of Citizens Federal Bank, will use the Mortgage Lending System, and the Optifi imaging system, developed by Fitech Systems Inc., Greensboro, N.C.

Citfed, which last year originated $1.5 billion in mortgages from its 10 branches in Ohio and Kentucky, has completed the installation of the mortgage lending system at its Dayton office. The system will be rolled out to the other locations in the next few weeks.

Installation of Optifi is also underway, although a completion date has not yet been determined.

The PC-based mortgage lending system, which automates functions from loan origination to closing, provides Citfed with more flexibility than the company's previous mainframe-based application, said Gary Porter, vice president of systems.

A laptop origination feature also allows agents in the field to take applications and print documents. In the next few months, they will also be able to order credit reports from their portable PCs.

Mr. Porter said remote origination allows the company to provide better service and compete with other lenders with similar capabilities.

The Optifi imaging system, which will work in conjunction with the loan origination application, will be used to scan and store paper documents electronically. Documents and reports will be able to be retrieved and displayed on users' desktop computers.

The imaging system also allows report information to be pulled from a variety of computer platforms. Using Windows, the information can be exported to word processing and spreadsheet programs.

"Optifi provides us with the power to process our volume and the flexibility to run in our existing Windows platform," said Mike Gerwick, vice president of MIS operations for Citizens Federal Bank.

With the imaging system Citfed hopes to eliminate 80% to 90% of its paper-handling tasks.

"With 200 to 300 pieces of paper per closed loan file, Optifi is an imaging solution that can greatly increase an institution's efficiency"' said Charles Welsh, vice president and manager of sales for Fitech Lending.

Fitech's lending division is a unit of Fitech Systems, a provider of software applications and consulting services for the financial industry.

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