Mortgage Corp. has begun testing an automated appraisal system in California. Under a pilot program approved by the Federal National Mortgage Association, Norwest is using a standardized analysis system instead of the more time-consuming research procedures in traditional appraisals. The system will cut appraisal time to 72 hours from two weeks, a Norwest spokeswoman said. The appraisal system, designed by Norwest's Valuation Information Technology unit, is designed to provide automated preliminary reports, electronic signatures, digital photographs, and other documentation to appraisers. The system can also tap market research, including statistical analysis, trends, neighborhood sales information, and comparability figures, a spokeswoman said.

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