Jumping on the Internet bandwagon, Pennsylvania-based American Business Financial Services Inc. (ABFI), a home-equity lender, recently introduced EasyLoan Advisor, an electronic system which would allow the company's clients to structure loans without human intervention, boosting its online origination on the HEL front.

"In less than a year or so, it would be representing 30% of our origination volume," said Al Mandia, executive vice president and chief financial officer at ABFI. These loans, which will be included in ABFI's securitization program, will amount to about $200 million to $250 million in two years, he added.

Despite the lack of human intervention, Mandia said that the new program will not affect the quality of the company's loan portfolio. "The underwriting that will be done online will replicate the quality of the underwriting done through our other distribution channels," he noted.

Aside from accelerating the process of approving loans, the new system will have a lot of cost benefits. "The marketing cost associated will be significantly less," Mandia said. "It will probably be 70% less than our television and radio advertising. It's a more cost-effective way of generating a loan," he added.

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