With an eye on reducing paperwork and speeding up lending, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has launched a system that allows lenders to perform necessary communication tasks over the Internet, replacing slower dedicated networks and telephone systems.

The new system, FHA Connection, is an effort to smooth the FHA process. "If you reduce the friction, you reduce time; if you reduce time, you reduce the cost," says assistant HUD secretary and FHA director Nicolas P. Retsinas.

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