First American Title Insurance Company acquires Tuscola Title & Escrow, Inc.

November 16, 1998, SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA

The First American Financial Corporation (NYSE: FAF), the nation's leading provider of real estate-related financial and information services, announced today that its primary subsidiary, First American Title Insurance Company, has purchased Michigan-based Tuscola Title & Escrow, Inc. from owner Paul Ransford.

The new acquisition, which is located in the city of Caro, will operate under its current name as a division of First American Title Insurance Company. Judy R. Babcock will serve as assistant vice president-Tuscola County manager, overseeing office operations.

The company that would become Tuscola Title & Escrow was founded in 1859 by James W. Spencer, who named the company James W. Spencer Real Estate and Abstract Office. In 1891, A.T. Slacht purchased the company and renamed it Abstract of Titles. A few years later, the company was purchased by the owners of the Carson and Ealy Bank building, who continued to operate it until its bankruptcy in 1927. The company was then purchased by A.O. Purdy at a bankruptcy auction, and renamed Tuscola County Abstract Company, Inc. In 1968, the company was purchased by Stanley W. Budry, who sold it that same year to Mr. and Mrs. Max Lawrence, operators of Lawrence Insurance Agency of Caro. Three years later, the company was purchased by Paul Ransford, whose great-grandfather and father were both attorneys in Caro. In 1994, the company's name was changed to Tuscola Title & Escrow, Inc.

"This is an extremely well-run company with great employees," said John Bethell, regional vice president for First American's Midwest region. "The office fits well strategically with existing First American branches in adjoining counties."

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, property data services, flood certification, field inspection services, appraisal services, loss mitigation services, mortgage loan origination and servicing systems, and mortgage document preparation nationally; First American Home Buyers Protection Corporation, a home warranty company; and First American Capital Management, an investment advisory firm. The corporation also operates First American Trust Company and First Security Thrift Company in Southern California. First American Financial has more than 17,000 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 on the Internet at


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