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First American Title's Lenders Advantage Division Announces Completion of Its One-Millionth FACT Order

December 6, 2006

SANTA ANA, Calif. /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- First American Title Insurance Company announced that its Lenders Advantage Division has completed its one-millionth FACT order. Introduced in 2003, FACT is an accelerated title and settlement solution that helps home equity lenders complete same-day loan closings -- and positively impact their customers' in- branch or call-in experience -- while mitigating lender risk through best-in- class fraud protection and insurance tailored to the unique needs of equity lenders.

Prior to FACT, banks and credit unions often waited 2-3 days for a title search that provided $20,000 in warranty coverage, regardless of the loan amount. If a lender desired title insurance, either a full ALTA (American Land Title Association) policy could be purchased for 4-8 times the cost of the FACT product, or a Junior Loan Policy could be obtained for 2-4 times the cost of FACT. Either option added considerable time and costto the loan closing, rendering both forms of protection less appealing to equity lenders.

"When consumers shop for home equity loans it's to fill a need -- home improvement, college tuition, debt consolidation or a major purchase. They want their money fast and don't expect to pay loan origination fees," said Paul Doman, equity division director at First American Title's Lenders Advantage. "FACT speeds the origination process by not requiring a pre-closing title search, and, because FACT's automation greatly reduces lender expenses, most of our lender clients can now offer their customers zero-fee home equity loans."

Launched in 2003, the one-of-a-kind FACT product insures lenders against losses resulting from undisclosed liens, an insufficient legal description, fraud, forgery and unauthorized execution of the security instrument. Each FACT order includes insurance coverage under the FACT Master Loan Policy, as well as filing with the appropriate governmental agency and imaging of the recorded mortgage or deed of trust, which provides future value for lenders when processing releases or in the event of disaster recovery. In addition, FACT can often confirm ownership and provide a legal description in a matter of seconds.

"The use of the FACT product has been a big win for U.S. Bank and our home equity customers," said Charlotte A. Manison, senior vice president of U.S. Bank Direct Lending. "Through the use of this product, many of our customers enjoy a much quicker and easier home equity loan process. The FACT product has also allowed us to create significant efficiencies in our internal processes. U.S. Bank is proud to have helped our good partner First American reach this milestone of 1 million FACT reports."

According to market research, growth in the home equity market has tapered-off from the record 25-30 percent increase lenders enjoyed in 2004-2005, but most long-term forecasts are still anticipating strong annual growth of approximately 10 percent in equity lending. With mortgage fraud on the rise, FACT's insuring provision protects lenders operating in the highly automated, "low-touch" equity lending environment while allowing them to maintain the speed and efficiency that borrowers have come to expect.

First American continually works to improve FACT's capabilities.Recently, product enhancements for FACT have included a fraud prevention notification to clients and FACT XL, the newest generation of FACT, which automates the credit bureau review and transfers the risk of identifying liens from the lender to First American. "These enhancements are expected to drive additional FACT business volume and help maintain First American's market leadership position in the home equity niche," said Doman.

Source: First American Title Insurance Company,



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