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ELGIN, Ill. – Lending Solutions, Inc. has come a long way and with it comes greater responsibility. Inching closer to processing its two-millionth loan application, LSI isn’t just handling credit unions’ off-hour and overflow applications any more – it has become the primary lending channel for many credit unions. “We started the company back in ’95 as an after hours and overflow company so members can access lending services 24/7. We’ve really evolved from a back-up location, to more of a primary provider of loan origination. With making that transition comes the responsibility of being there all the time,” said Mark Johnson, LSI’s president. Being there all the time means having a comprehensive disaster recovery plan. Also, as LSI becomes more of a primary channel for CUs, CUs have to incorporate LSI into their disaster recovery plan when working with regulators. The company recently shored up its business continuity plan. LSI spent nine months and some $125,000 working with SunGard Recovery Services, a leading provider of disaster recovery and business continuity. SunGard literally has to spend months understanding a company’s business to get them up and running in the case of a disaster. Taking over 90,000 calls a month, LSI runs on a Windows 200 platform, with XP on the desktop. It has some 15 to 17 servers in place. It already has an extensive data back-up system with data stored off site. Johnson said LSI was a bit surprised at the cost and time involved in the project, and of course the additional cost should LSI need to utilize one of SunGard’s hot sites. But Johnson said for a company like LSI, down time is a killer. “When you consider the function we do, emulating the loan function, we are driving the number one revenue source of our credit unions. When you realize the responsibility you have the cost is inconsequential. You have to look at it as a true cost of doing business,” said Johnson. SunGard even has a mobile unit that LSI can use to recover certain departments. Interestingly, LSI has seen applications from the Net channel increase to about 40% of total apps, though many of them can’t be decisioned electronically, reinforcing the need for LSI’s underwriting expertise, which of course is based on each individual CU’s criteria. With the number of applications increasing about 15 to 20% a year, Johnson said business continuity will always be a consideration, but LSI philosophically doesn’t want to grow too fast. “We could grow it a lot faster if we wanted to. We have been very conscious of being able to deliver what we propose,” said Johnson. [email protected]

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