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November 16, 2000|Associated Press

* A security breach in the software used by many mortgage brokers caused at least 700 Americans' loan applications--including Social Security numbers--to be divulged on the Internet, officials said. Though quickly rectified, the breach should send a warning through an industry that now processes one of every three mortgage applications electronically using software made by California-based Contour Software, security and loan experts said. A Contour Software spokesman called the problem "a rarity" and said the application would be difficult to locate on the Internet. Spokesman Scott Cooley blamed a disgruntled former employee, who turned off security settings for a computer directory where the loan applications were stored. The Mortgage Bankers Assn. of America says Contour's software processed almost 2 million home loans in 1999 totaling $228 billion.

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