Lenders at Bank America Corp. are taking applications for small-business loans by telephone in California.

No paper applications, tax return, or financial statements are needed for the loans, credit lines, or credit cards. The credit limit is $50,000 if one product is bought, or $60,000 if all three.

The bank's new service comes as competition to lend to California entrepreneurs has heated up between bank and nonbank lenders.

"We know small-business owners have many demands on their time and need the flexibility to call when it's convenient for them," said Jerry Bowman, president of Bank America's Business Banking Division.

Bank employees began staffing the toll-free telephone line from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Pacific standard time, seven days a week in December.

Bank America plans to lend $10.6 billion to small-business owners in 10 western states before the year 2000.

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