FIRST AMERICAN ACQUIRES NATION'S LARGEST DEFAULT PROCESSING OPERATION


December 7, 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 it has acquired the national default outsourcing operations of Dallas-based law firm Barrett Burke Wilson Castle Daffin & Frappier, L.L.P. (Barrett Burke). Included in the sale were the outsource operations, the California foreclosure trustee operations, and the extensive default processing and management software systems developed by the firm. Terms of the acquisition, which closed on Nov. 19, 1999, were not disclosed.

"The acquisition of Barrett Burke's national default outsourcing operations, combined with First American's products, gives First American the opportunity to offer the first complete menu of default-related services to our mortgage clients," said Parker S. Kennedy, president of The First American Financial Corporation. "This menu includes claims processing, loss mitigation, field services, property evaluation, title information, REO title services and, with the acquisition of these broadly based outsourcing and software capabilities, an entire infrastructure around which services can be bundled, managed and delivered. The acquisition also gives First American a revenue stream that is counter-cyclical to most of our other businesses."

Michael C. Barrett will become a vice chairman of First American Real Estate Information Services (FAREIS) and will oversee the default processing operations along with Barry M. Sando, FAREIS mortgage products president; Joseph Filoseta, FAREIS default management solutions president; and Ted M. Moore, regional vice president of First American Title Insurance Company. Barrett will continue as managing partner and chief executive officer at Barrett Burke.

"We are extremely pleased to be a part of this powerful product design," stated Barrett. "All of us at Barrett Burke, including Bob Frappier, Mary Daffin, Jay Frappier and Jackie Barrett and Caren Castle, are excited about being a part of the First American team." "By combining First American's products with ours, we now have an unequaled ability to serve our customers," said Bob Frappier, managing partner of the firm's Houston servicing facility. The firm will manage the acquired assets in conjunction with First American personnel. Barrett Burke will, of course, continue its Texas foreclosure and bankruptcy practices in all aspects.

The Barrett Burke outsourcing operations, which last year handled approximately 43 percent of all defaults experienced by MBA (Mortgage Bankers Association of America) members, is the largest default-outsourcing firm in the U.S., with operations in 18 cities across the country.

"We welcome First American's entry into the default outsourcing industry and look forward to continuing our association," said Bob Caruso, senior vice president at Norwest Mortgage Corp.

The acquisition also includes LoneStar Mortgagee Services, L.L.C. (the largest processor of California Trust Deed enforcement services), a majority of the assets of TitleStar, L.L.C. (a title services outsourcing company), and Barrett Burke's default management software, including the acclaimed Default Account Information System (DAISY), and the National Default Tracking System (NDTS). DAISY, which is used by mortgage servicers to manage defaults, is now deployed in support of over 8 million mortgage loans at 10 of the country's largest and most technologically sophisticated companies.

Bob Thornton, senior vice president at Bank of America, Louisville, said, "We are excited about this new business relationship with First American and the opportunities that it will afford DAISY and Bank of America."

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; property and casualty insurance; 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 www.firstam.com.

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