MIAMI - Chase Federal Savings has boosted productivity and cut costs in its consumer and mortgage loan areas through the use of a PC-based loan origination system.

The $2.8 billion-asset institution is using the EasyLender system from Florida Informanagement Services Inc., an Orlando-based software provider and outsourcing company for the financial industry.

According to Chase Federal officials, the system has enabled the bank to cut lending overhead, improve loan processing, and close more loans.

"Our loan volume has nearly tripled," said Charlie Clements, senior vice president of residential lending at the Miami-based bank.

Since January, the bank has closed an average of 140 loans per month, and that average has risen steadily. The bank attributes the improvement to an increase in productivity.

The bank was also able to reduce operating costs by consolidating two loan-closing facilities into one, said bank officials.

Before the EasyLender system was installed in January to automate Chase Federal's consumer and mortgage lending operations, the bank was using a mainframe-based loan origination system that lacked flexibility and required technically knowledgeable people to customize the software and design new forms, said Mr. Clements.

The switch to the PC-based system enables the lending staff to program the software and design their own forms with little technical help, he said.

EasyLender will work in conjunction with the loan servicing module of the bank's new core processing system from Electronic Data Systems Corp., Plano, Texas.

The bank will be able to upload closed loans to the EDS system, said Mr. Clements.

The bank is also considering incorporating the new software into laptop computers so loan originators can have access to information while in the field.

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