First American Title’s Florida Offices Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month


October 3, 2006, FORT PIERCE, Fla.

 In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 through October 15), First American Title Insurance Company’s Florida operations today announced that it will host an open house at its Fort Pierce, Fla., office and introduce the staff of its newest Hispanic Branch on Thursday, Oct. 12, from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.  Real estate professionals, members of the community and media representatives are welcome to attend the event, which will held at 109 N. Second St., in Fort Pierce.  The open house will feature copies of a Spanish-language DVD on the home-buying process, bilingual Spanish-English real estate glossaries and materials to help the Latino consumer navigate the home-buying process.                

Throughout Florida, many of First American Title’s branches offer bilingual and bicultural title and escrow services, as well as homebuyer information resources focused on the challenges often encountered by Hispanics during the home-buying process.  

Every member of First American’s bilingual escrow team undergoes an 8-hour course in real estate closing terminology, which equips them to accurately describe the documents that their Spanish-speaking customers must complete to buy or sell real estate.  First American offers translated versions of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development HUD-1 settlement statement, First American’s title insurance forms and the property deed.  While the translated forms cannot be used as part of the official closing package, they are used as reference tools to help buyers and sellers understand the documents that are filed as part of the transaction.

“First American recognizes that Hispanics are one of the fastest growing homebuyer segments in the country, and we’re responding with services specifically designed for our Hispanic communities,” said Vivian Vasallo, Southeast Region Emerging Markets director for First American.  “We’ve seen Florida’s Hispanic population more than double during the last decade, yet Hispanic homeownership levels have not substantially increased.  First American’s Emerging Markets Program offers solutions to help narrow this homeownership gap, not only through bilingual and bicultural offices, but through innovative programs such as our alternative credit scoring products and our “Understanding the Hispanic Homebuyer” curriculum for real estate professionals.  By assisting both the industry practitioners and the homebuying consumer directly, we are helping more qualified Latino families purchase homes.”

First American Title’s Florida Hispanic Branches are located in Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Southwest Florida and now St.Lucie County/Fort Pierce.  In addition, First American’s Bilingual Escrow Team can conduct closings in Spanish, by phone or in-person, at any First American office location throughout the state.

The Hispanic Branches and Bilingual Escrow Teams are part of First American’s broader efforts to serve Hispanic and other minority groups through its Emerging Markets Program. Since 2003, The First American Corporation and its subsidiary companies have led the settlement services industry in creating innovative programs to increase low- to moderate-income and minority homeownership nationwide. Comprised of consumer-focused real estate financial literacy programs, training and seminars for real estate professionals, grants and investments in housing programs, and the hiring and training of First American staff to better service diverse communities, First American’s Emerging Markets Program was the first of its kind in the title insurance and settlement services industry.

If interested in attending the Oct. 12 Fort Pierce open house, please contact Ivette Claudio at (772) 464-7837 or iclaudio@firstam.com.

First American Title Insurance Company, the largest subsidiary of The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF), traces its history to 1889. One of the largest title insurers in the nation, the company offers title services through more than 1,800 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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