Countrywide Funding Corp., the country's largest provider of residential mortgages, has created an automated underwriting system for mortgage brokers.

The system will allow brokers to connect directly to lenders via computer to obtain conditional approvals on-line. The program, Countrywide Loan Underwriting Expert System, was previewed during the National Association of Mortgage Brokers convention in Dallas last week.

This system is an addition to Directline Plus, a two-year-old program developed by Countrywide to connect mortgage brokers on-line to lenders. It allows brokers to keep an eye on their Countrywide pipeline and stay aware of pricing and underwriting guidelines.

With the addition of the automated underwriting to the program, brokers can get a conditional approval within an hour.

Brokers will input a borrower's loan application, and combined with the electronically captured credit data, the system will analyze the loan information and apply underwriting guidelines.

The program also allows a broker to order credit reports electronically and create customized rate sheets.

Countrywide will begin testing the system this month and plans to put it into use in August with its approved brokers.

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First American Title Insurance Co. will now offer both tax services and title insurance to its California lender clients.

The combined services will be overseen by Dennis J. Gilmore, whose new title is senior vice president of the tax division. David Hamilton was promoted to vice president of the tax division, a new position.

Under Mr. Gilmore, California lenders will have access to the combined title and tax services offered by First American Title Insurance Co. and First American Real Estate Information Services.

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