November 3, 1999, SANTA ANA, Calif.

The First American Financial Corporation (NYSE: FAF), the nation's leading provider of business information and related products and services, today announced that its primary subsidiary, First American Title Insurance Company, has acquired Ford County Title Company, Inc., from owner Barbra Gould. Terms of the acquisition, which closed Nov. 1, 1999, were not disclosed.

"We're pleased to be adding Ford County Title to First American's growing presence in Kansas," said Gary Kermott, president of First American Title Insurance Company. "Over the past year, First American has purchased several title companies in the state, among them Security Abstract and Title in Wichita and the three offices of Guarantee Title in the counties of Johnson, Wyandotte and Leavenworth. These purchases, along with our concurrent acquisitions of Barton County Abstract and the completion of our purchase of Security Land Title, will increase First American's direct operations throughout the region."

Ford County Title, which has had an underwriting relationship with First American since 1989, operates one office headquartered in Dodge City, Kan., and will continue to operate under its current name with no operational changes. Gould, who has 31 years of title industry experience, will remain with the company as president.

Ford County Title, which serves the counties of Ford, Gray and Edwards, was founded in 1955 in Dodge City, Kan., by a local attorney who later sold it to Gould. The company owns a complete title plant with records dating back to the early 1800s.

"This acquisition with its extensive title plant is another step toward carrying out our strategy of better servicing our national clients and ultimately centralizing and automating our searching process," said Kermott. "First American's goal is to develop the largest and most integrated database of property information in the nation. Our Data Tree subsidiary, with more than 600 million imaged recorded title documents in its database, will use Ford County Title's records to expand its reach. Coupled with the company's Smart Title Solutions subsidiary, which has more than 450 million records in its primary databases, making it the nation's largest owner of title indexes, we're well on our way to solidifying our position as the dominant provider of property information in Kansas and the nation."

"We are pleased to be joining such a well-respected company as First American," said Gould. "The title industry has been undergoing many changes over the past couple of years, both in terms of growth, technology and methods of packaging and delivering property information. This gives us the financial and technological backing to compete in this increasingly competitive environment, thereby allowing us to continue offering the same expert level of service that our customers have come to expect."

The First American Financial Corporation, based in Santa Ana, Calif., is the nation's leading provider of business information and related products and services. The corporation's three primary business segments include: title insurance; real estate information and services, which includes mortgage origination, mortgage servicing and database products and services; and consumer information and services, which provides home warranties; automotive, subprime and direct-to-consumer credit reporting; property and automotive insurance tracking services; resident screening; pre-employment screening; lender-placed flood and hazard insurance; investment advisory; and trust and banking services. Through its family of companies, First American Financial has nearly 20,000 employees in more than 600 branch offices in the United States and abroad. Information about the company and an archive of its press releases can be found on the Internet at # # #


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