First American Hosts Real Estate Financial Literacy Summit

—Public and Private Sector Leaders Convene to Examine and Address Latino Homeownership Issues—


April 20, 2005, WASHINGTON

The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF), the nation’s largest data provider, today hosted its first Hispanic Real Estate Financial Literacy Summit on Capitol Hill, a meeting bringing together community, civic and corporate leaders committed to increasing homeownership opportunities for under-served Hispanic families.

Representatives from the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USHCCF), the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL), the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), AmeriDream®, Inc., National City Mortgage, Operation HOPE, Inc., and Microsoft Corporation attended the event, sharing perspectives and establishing the framework for a collaborative effort that will help increase financial literacy and understanding of the home buying process among the nation’s growing Hispanic population.

“Long lasting, strategic relationships with key business partners and national advocacy organizations provide a realistic road to success in our efforts to extend homeownership opportunities to traditionally under-served families,” said Landon V. Taylor, vice president of Market Development for The First American Corporation.  “For well over a year, we have worked diligently to bring together those who share the common vision of closing the nation’s homeownership gap.  The trusted advisors assembled here today have proven track-records of providing services that are truly of benefit to those most in need of real estate financial literacy education.  We are proud to share their company and are confident that this is only the first step in working together to open the doors of financial opportunity for all Americans.”

Recent studies project that U.S. Hispanics—the nation’s fastest growing minority group—will have a combined total buying power of more than $990 billion by 2009, and the potential to impact residential real estate more than any other single demographic group in the U.S. during the next decade.  Currently, less than 50 percent of the nation’s Hispanics are homeowners, compared to a near 75 percent homeownership rate among White Americans.  Limited access to prime mortgage credit, a general lack of understanding of the home buying process and the prevalence of under-trained and—in some instances—predatory real estate service providers have contributed to this long-standing homeownership gap.      

Focusing on education as a key component to eliminating barriers to homeownership and financial independence, First American announced its plan to issue a request-for-proposal in search of a lead partner to help co-develop the real estate-related financial literacy content featured on Microsoft's MSN® Latino “Finanzas” personal finance center. Accessible at www.msnlatino.com, Finanzas provides Spanish-language resources and counsel concerning the major economic decisions consumers face, including financial planning, credit management, banking, investing, home buying and more.  First American announced its partnership with Microsoft and the launch of the Finanzas Web portal in March.

“Homeownership is a goal well within reach for many Hispanic families,” said Gary Acosta, NAHREP chairman and president/chief executive officer of Prado Mortgage.  “Too often, however, these families are discouraged by impediments that are the by-product of an overly complex real estate transaction process.  First American is clearly taking a leadership role in helping explain, simplify and increase access to homeownership, and we look forward to the continued growth of our partnership with them.”

NAHREP is a charter sponsor of the MSN Latino Finanzas site. 

First American’s Emerging Markets initiative, launched in October 2003, promotes home buying among African Americans, Asian Americans and Latinos.  The initiative combines innovative product development with strategic industry alliances, philanthropic giving and investment, and an increased commitment to workforce and vendor diversity at First American.  The five-year, multimillion dollar program is endorsed by The Greenlining Institute, a multiethnic coalition and leading advocate of homeownership and inner-city economic development.  

The First American Corporation is a Fortune 500 company that traces its history to 1889. As the nation’s largest data provider, the company supplies businesses and consumers with information resources in connection with the major economic events of people’s lives, such as getting a job; renting an apartment; buying a car, house, boat or airplane; securing a mortgage; opening or buying a business; and planning for retirement. The First American Family of Companies, many of which command leading market share positions in their respective industries, operate within six primary business segments, including: Title Insurance and Services, Specialty Insurance, Mortgage Information, Property Information, Credit Information and Screening Information. With revenues of $6.72 billion in 2004, First American has 31,000 employees in approximately 2,000 offices throughout the United States and abroad.  More information about the company and an archive of its press releases can be found at www.firstam.com.

 

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