FIRST AMERICAN SELLS CONTOUR SOFTWARE, INC. TO ELLIE MAE

-Transaction Makes Ellie Mae Nation's Largest Loan Origination Software Provider And Gives First American Equity Ownership In Electronic Mortgage Services Company-


February 5, 2001, SANTA ANA, Calif.

The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF), the nation’s leading provider of business information and related products and services, and Ellie Mae(SM), Inc., the leading provider of Internet solutions for the mortgage industry, today announced that the companies have completed a transaction in which First American’s subsidiary, Contour Software Inc., was sold to Ellie Mae. In exchange, First American will receive, in addition to other consideration, an equity interest in Ellie Mae and the right to appoint a member to its board of directors. While specific terms of the transaction were not disclosed, First American will recognize a gain on the sale.

The combination of Ellie Mae’s Genesis 2000® mortgage automation software, and Contour’s state-of-the-art loan origination software, positions Ellie Mae as the largest and most comprehensive service provider to mortgage brokers. As a preferred provider of mortgage origination products to Ellie Mae, First American expects to benefit from the significant opportunities to cross-market its complete menu of origination products to Ellie Mae’s Genesis 2000 and Contour users. 

With nearly one out of every three mortgages in the United States originating on the Contour platform, Ellie Mae’s system now serves approximately 50 percent of the industry’s loan volume. The new combination has the client base and technology products to form the preeminent portal for the mortgage loan origination industry. 

“We believe the combination of Genesis 2000 and Contour in the hands of an electronic mortgage specialist like Ellie Mae, will yield impressive benefits to the industry,” said Parker S. Kennedy, president of The First American Corporation. “The best way for First American to compete for market share in the mortgage broker arena is to join forces with a company, which when combined with Contour Software, will have the scale and infrastructure to dominate its field. The potential to cross market First American’s products is immense.” 

“We are pleased to welcome First American as they join our other industry investors including, among others, Fannie Mae and the mortgage insurance company PMI,” said Sig Anderman, president and chief executive officer of Ellie Mae. “As we work to guide the mortgage industry’s move toward electronic mortgage origination, our mission is to provide mortgage originators with technology solutions. By enabling them to electronically transmit loan files and data to lenders and settlement services providers with a single mouse click, originators will be able to generate more loans, more efficiently.” 

Contour Software recently announced the release of the latest version of its flagship product, The Loan Handler™, a state-of-the-art desktop software platform with built-in e-commerce functionality that enables the application to automatically handle electronic transactions in the background as users input borrower information. 

“This transaction comes at a great time for Contour’s customers,” said Scott M. Cooley, president of Contour Software. “Combining Contour’s premier loan origination software; Ellie Mae’s content, back-office support and ePASS(SM) solutions for mortgage e-commerce; and First American’s leading mortgage products and services, provides our clients with a dynamic solution that will give them the productivity tools to succeed in this rapidly changing marketplace.” 

About Ellie Mae 
Ellie Mae, Inc., headquartered in Pleasanton, Calif., is the leading Internet enabler for the mortgage brokerage industry and the largest Loan Origination Software (LOS) provider in the U.S. Offering brokers the ePASS (electronic Pricing And Submission System) Business Center, a B2B e-commerce platform, as well as customized Web sites, hosting services, and LOS packages, Ellie Mae enables mortgage originators to harness the power of the Internet, giving them a competitive advantage in the fast changing residential mortgage arena. For additional information visit www.elliemae.com or call (877) 355-4362. 

About Contour Software
Founded in 1982, Contour Software offers practical solutions for the mortgage loan finance industry. The company's flagship product, The Mortgage Banking Series, is a complete line of software products for every facet of mortgage lending, from qualification to servicing. With a customer base of 40,000 active seat licenses, Contour Software is a technology leader with the most complete line of software products and the most electronic commerce connections in the industry. As the developer of the new click-less e-commerce loan origination environment, Contour has further established itself as a forward-thinking company as well as one that listens to its customer base, which includes mortgage bankers, mortgage originators, credit unions, commercial banks and savings institutions. Contour has 130 employees and 45 additional sales representatives located across the United States. 

About First American
The First American 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 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; resident screening; pre-employment screening; property and automotive 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 www.firstam.com

Certain statements made in this press release, including those relating to cost and production efficiencies gained through the integration of technologies and improved opportunities to cross-market products are forward-looking. Risks and uncertainties exist which may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in these forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause the anticipated results to differ from those described in the forward-looking statements include: interest rate fluctuations; changes in the performance of the real estate markets; general volatility in the capital markets; changes in applicable government regulations; consolidation among the company’s significant customers and competitors; legal proceedings commenced by the California attorney general and related litigation; the company’s continued ability to identify businesses to be acquired; changes in the company's ability to integrate businesses which it acquires; and other factors described in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1999, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. The company does not undertake to update forward-looking statements to reflect circumstances or events that occur after the date the forward-looking statements are made.

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