WASHINGTON - Difficulty in obtaining prompt appraisals has been a big obstacle to speeding up the process of getting a home loan. It has generally taken several days to get an appraisal that confirms the value of the house.

Now, Freddie Mac says it is beefing up the collateral assessment features of its automated underwriting system. Instead of relying on a detailed physical inspection by an appraiser, the user can access statistical models and data bases of property values and employ streamlined inspections to determine the value of a home.

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