FIRST AMERICAN TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY ACQUIRES MARIPOSA COUNTY TITLE COMPANY

—Increases Market Share in Northern California—


June 17, 2002, SANTA ANA, Calif.

First American Title Insurance Company, one of the nation’s largest title insurers and a member of The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF) family of companies, today announced that it has acquired Mariposa County Title Company of Mariposa, Calif.  Terms of the transaction, which closed May 30, 2002, were not disclosed.

Since its formation in 1908, Mariposa County Title Company has served the county of Mariposa as a family-owned title operation.  Purchased and operated by Robert and Elizabeth Stonum in 1971, and managed by Neil and Susan Stonum since 1994, Mariposa’s title plant currently contains close to 200,000 records, some of which date back to the 1850s.  The company, which holds a 60 percent market share in the area it serves, was one of the first in the region to computerize portions of its title plant beginning in 1984. 

“We’re very pleased to add Mariposa Title to our direct operations in Northern California,” said Gary Gadeke, First American Title Insurance Company regional vice president. “Having held an ownership interest in Mariposa Title for many years, First American is very comfortable working with the Stonum family and we look forward to growing the company and serving the people of Mariposa directly.”

Neil and Susan Stonum will continue to oversee operations at Mariposa Title as First American employees.  Robert and Elizabeth Stonum plan to retire after more than 56 years in the title business.  At present, the company plans to continue to operate from its Mariposa location and under the Mariposa County Title name.

"We’re quite excited to enter this enhanced relationship with First American,” said Neil Stonum. “The rapidly evolving real estate settlement market requires the constant development of new services and upgrading of existing systems; First American leads the title industry in this regard. This acquisition assures buyers, sellers and real estate professionals that the best in title and escrow services will continue to be available here in Mariposa."

First American Title Insurance Company, the largest subsidiary of The First American Corporation, traces its history to 1889. One of the largest title insurers in the nation, the company offers title services through more than 900 offices and an extensive network of agents throughout the United States and abroad. The company has its headquarters in Santa Ana, Calif. Information about The First American Corporation’s subsidiaries and an archive of its press releases can be found on the Internet at www.firstam.com.

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