November 12, 2001, SANTA ANA, Calif.

The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF), the nation’s leading, diversified provider of business information and related products and services, today announced that it has named Christopher J. Montalbano and Dena M. Cruz as regional counsel for First American’s UCC Insurance Division. The EAGLE 9TM UCC Insurance Program provides lien protection and priority insurance for commercial loans secured by non-real estate assets.

In his new position, Montalbano will support the division’s marketing effort in New England, Virginia, Washington D.C., North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. He also will develop and maintain new sources of business for the UCC Insurance Program. Additionally, Montalbano will continue to serve as vice president and Rhode Island state manager for the company’s subsidiary, First American Title Insurance Company.

Montalbano entered the title industry in 1986 when he joined Mortgage Guarantee & Title Company, which later was acquired by First American. In 1992, he was named branch manager, a position he held until being promoted to Rhode Island state manager in 1998.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Providence College, Montalbano went on to earn a juris doctor from Suffolk University Law School. He is a member of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Bar Associations and is past president of the Rhode Island Conveyancers Association. An active member of the community, Montalbano currently serves as director and vice president of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association of Rhode Island. He also has served on the boards of New England Land Title Association, Meeting Street Center and Genesis Center.

A Rhode Island native, Montalbano currently resides in North Kingstown, R.I., with his wife, Julie, and their two young sons.

Cruz, who is based in San Francisco, will be responsible for business development and underwriting of the EAGLE 9 UCC Insurance Policy for the Northwest region. A veteran in the title industry, she initially joined First American in 1998 when she became regional claims counsel for the company’s San Francisco office. 

An accomplished speaker, Cruz is a frequent lecturer for the State Bar of California, California’s Continuing Education of the Bar and numerous private associations. She also has written several articles on such varied topics as UCC Article 9, Internet transactions and mechanic’s liens for the California Real Property Journal.

Cruz is a member of the American Bar Association and served as vice-chair of the Real Property Section of the State Bar of California for five years. Her professional affiliations also include Northern California Commercial Finance Association and Northern California Commercial Real Estate Women. Cruz’s community involvement currently includes volunteering with Hospital de la Familia, a group that provides medical services in Guatemala. She also has served on the boards of the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Maria and Legal Aid in Santa Barbara.

Cruz received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a juris doctor from Santa Barbara College of Law. She also holds a California Property and Casualty License and a California Brokers License. She and her husband, Raul, live in Orinda, Calif., and are parents of three daughters.

First American, as both a title insurer and a property and casualty insurer, is the only company currently qualified to provide UCC insurance to the national commercial loan markets, estimated at more than $1 trillion annually. More information about First American’s UCC Insurance Division and the EAGLE 9 UCC Insurance Program can be found on the Internet at

The First American Corporation, based in Santa Ana, Calif., is the nation’s leading, diversified provider of business information and related products and services. The corporation’s three primary business segments include: title information and services; real estate information and services, which includes mortgage information services and database information and services; and consumer information and services, which provides automotive, subprime and direct-to-consumer credit reporting; direct-to-consumer public records reporting; resident screening; pre-employment screening; automobile title administration; property and automotive and insurance tracking services; property and casualty insurance; home warranties, investment advisory; and trust and banking services. Information about the company and an archive of its press releases can be found on the Internet at


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