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North American Title Insurance Company is a seasoned title insurance underwriter that has been helping customers achieve the American dream of homeownership for more than 50 years. In the past several years, we have become known as the “underwriter next door,� because our associates are always easy to reach and our processes are, at all times, quick and straightforward. Our agency application process is fast and transparent for qualified agents. NATIC offers a one-hour underwriting response guarantee that is unparallelled in our industry. In addition, we value our agents based on their title industry knowledge and experience, not just on profits alone.

Fitch Comments on LandAmerica's Write-Down of Customer Intangible

October 11, 2005

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Fitch said that LandAmerica Financial Group's (LFG) recent write-down of customer intangible increases Fitch's concerns about LFG's ability to profitably execute its acquisition strategy and maintain adequate margins and returns on capital in weakening market conditions.

Historically, Fitch noted that LFG's acquisition strategy resulted in lower surplus at the title companies, increased intangible equity, and modestly aggressive financial leverage. The recent write-down of customer intangible, which was outside of expectations, contributes to weakening balance sheet fundamentals and financial flexibility trends, adding negative pressure to the company's ratings.

Going forward, Fitch expects no additional write-down of intangible equity or significant acquisitions, market share to remain at current levels, and enterprise-wide margins and earnings to be slightly below national peer averages. Fitch also expects LFG's debt-to-capital ratio to be managed over the long term at approximately 25%. Fitch will continue to closely monitor LFG's results relative to expectations and any significant divergence would have negative rating implications.

LFG is the third largest provider of title insurance in the United States with a market share of approximately 18%. The organization has a strong market position in residential and commercial title insurance, and its title operations are well diversified geographically. LFG, a publicly traded holding company, with GAAP assets and shareholder's equity of $3.4 billion and $1.2 billion, respectively at June 30, 2005, provides title insurance and real estate products in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean.

Source: Fitch Ratings

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