Some say the loan officer of the future will be a person; some, a machine. But there is wide disagreement within each faction over what sort of person or machine the loan originator will be - and where he, she, or it will be based.

The industry is heavily populated with companies that say there is no substitute for good old human judgment, and that holding the customer's hand is the key to the business. But advocates of virtual loan offices are emerging as well.

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