First American Financial acquires Strategic Mortgage Services


May 13, 1997, SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA

The First American Financial Corporation (NYSE: FAF) announced today that it has completed its previously announced purchase of all of the operations of Strategic Mortgage Services, Inc., (SMS) of Irvine, California, and its subsidiaries, other than SMS' flood zone certification business.

SMS is a leading provider of real estate information services to the U.S. mortgage and title insurance industries. The acquired businesses include SMS' credit division, the nation's third largest provider of mortgage credit information; its property appraisal division, which holds the number two national market position; its title division, which provides title and closing services throughout the United States serving primarily second mortgage originators; its settlement services business, which provides title plant systems and accounting services, as well as escrow closing software, to the title industry; and a controlling interest in the nation's largest mortgage document preparation firm.

First American is the industry leader in real estate-related financial and information services. This transaction will not only expand the company's lead in these vital services, but will provide immediate national presence for First American's appraisal company. The acquisition will also provide First American with a new business line – mortgage document preparation.

The First American Financial Corporation, based in Santa Ana, California, is the nation's leading provider of real estate-related financial and information services. The corporation's subsidiaries include First American Title Insurance Company, a national and international title insurer; First American Real Estate Information Services, Inc., which offers tax monitoring, credit reporting, flood certification, mortgage loan servicing systems, appraisal services and field inspection services nationally; First American Home Buyers Protection Corporation, a home warranty company; and First American Capital Management, an investment firm. The corporation also operates First American Trust Company and First Security Thrift Company in Southern California. First American Financial has more than 10,000 employees in over 400 branch offices in the United States and abroad. Information about the company's subsidiaries and an archive of its press releases can be found at http://www.firstam.com on the Internet.

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