NEEDHAM, MA, September 11, 2003�TowerGroup estimates that IT spending on automated mortgage collateral management systems will grow from $33 million in 2003 to $193 million in 2008. This major increase in spending will further streamline the home appraisal process, cutting the average time for a mortgage lender to complete a home appraisal from 6�10 days currently to 4�7 days by 2008.

This is a critical shift for the mortgage lending industry, as it faces declining loan volumes following the record mortgage refinancing period experienced over the past two years. With the refinancing boom slowing down, lenders are looking for new ways to compete, lower their operating costs, and provide better service with reduced loan processing timelines. Recent introductions of automated valuation models (AVMs) and automated collateral management systems hold promise for mortgage lenders to streamline traditional appraisals and collateral document management, which is the lengthiest and least automated of the loan processing tasks.

In new TowerGroup research titled, �The Next Mortgage Underwriting Revolution: Mortgage Collateral Assessment,� Craig Focardi, senior analyst in the Consumer Credit practice at TowerGroup, discusses these new collateral risk assessment programs and technology, and forecasts new collateral risk assessment adoption and IT spending.

The research note is available to qualified members of the press for review.

About TowerGroup: TowerGroup�now celebrating its 10th year�is the leading research and advisory company focused on the global financial services industry. A respected source for trusted information and advice, TowerGroup brings many of the world�s largest financial services, technology and consulting firms a deeper understanding of the business and technology issues impacting their organizations. Headquartered near Boston in Needham, Massachusetts, and with offices in New York, London, and Kuala Lumpur, TowerGroup serves a global client base.

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