LendingTree (Nasdaq: TREE) has received a patent for its online-lending process that enables a consumer to receive competing loan offers from multiple lenders.

The patent protects LendingTree’s proprietary system of selection criteria that is used to filter consumers’ credit data. Those criteria are used to select lending institutions that will receive the credit request and compete for the consumer’s business.

“Our patented technology and processes are truly the backbone of LendingTree and one of the major contributors to our success,” said Doug Lebda, chief executive officer.

Loans available via the LendingTree Exchange include home mortgage, home equity, automobile, personal, debt consolidation, and credit cards.

The LendingTree Exchange is made up of more than 200 banks, lenders, and brokers and has facilitated more than $55 billion in closed loans since its inception in 1996.

Currently, LendingTree is in the process of being bought by InterActiveCorp, a New York-based company run by media mogul Barry Diller.

LendingTree www.lendingtree.com