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GLENDORA, Calif. – While automation brought greater efficiencies for credit unions looking to launch business lending divisions, something may have been lost along the way. “Before the infusion of major technology advances, starting a commercial loan department was quite a bit easier than it is now,” said Loren Wilson, vice president of operations for eDocs-Express LLC. The firm is an alliance between, J.R. Bruno & Associates, a CU lending consulting firm; West One Financial Services; and Prescient Software. Wilson said the old process was finding a knowledgeable commercial loan officer; purchasing some “preprinted” commercial loan forms; and start making loans. As an examiner with the OCC in the late 1980s, she taught lenders to think in terms of “form sets,” or knowing which documents an examiner would expect to see in the file for a particular type of loan. Automation may have affected that thought process, Wilson said. “Today, when credit unions decide to start commercial loan departments, (they have to determine) how the loan is to be documented and (make) sure that the same personnel are adequately trained,” Wilson said. One solution may be to bring together a team of providers that are not only knowledgeable in commercial loan policy and practices but also loan documentation and loan servicing, Wilson said.

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