Someone gets a new job, relocates, and needs a house in his new home town, ASAP. Another person wants to buy a house but is too busy to drive to the bank and fill out loan forms at lunchtime. A third mortgage seeker is available only on weekends. No problem in First of America Mortgage Company, Kalamazoo, MI, territory. If the consumer can't go to the bank, the bank, in the form of a loan officer loaded with a laptop, goes to the consumer.

With consumers' disposable time in such short supply (not to mention thin margins), speed is essential in mortgage lending. As Rick Smalldon, First of America senior vice president, puts it, "You can't expect homebuyers to settle for the old 30 to 45 day approval wait for mortgage loans." So with the help of MorVision Mobile Loan Officer (MLO) from Dinatek, based in Livonia, MI, the bank, which originated $1.8 billion in first mortgages in 1996, went mobile. Now customers get approval on the spot.

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