First American Offers Vacant Property Registration Services
-New Offering Helps Protect Investor Interests and Reduces Lender Liability-
September 4, 2008, DALLAS
First American Field Services and First American Real Estate Tax Service, members of The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF) family of companies, announced today the availability of a new vacant property registration service that manages, tracks and maintains the registration process for lenders and servicers.
The service was developed to help investors and servicers stay in compliance with changing municipal ordinances governing the growing number of vacant properties in their portfolios. Properties in a lender’s servicing or REO portfolio requiring vacant-property registration are identified and then the registration process, including the disbursement of fees, is managed for the client. This service draws on First American Field Service’s core strengths in field services and the tax company’s existing relationships with 22,000 jurisdictions, as well as its track record of making more than $44 billion in accurate tax payments annually.
“As new ordinances are passed in various jurisdictions, our vacant-property registration database is updated and we are able to revise the registration information on behalf of our clients as needed,” said Paul Dauterive, president of First American Field Services. “By outsourcing the time-consuming registration process to First American, lenders are able to reduce in-house monitoring and compliance costs. This new service reduces the lender’s risk of compliance-related penalties by ensuring that all necessary properties remain properly registered throughout the default process.”
The registration process and requirements vary from municipality to municipality and late or improper registration can result in significant financial penalties for lenders and investors. In extreme cases, property conveyance may be denied for failure to follow local property requirements.
“By using client-driven rules to determine which properties are required to be registered, we are able to execute rapidly, update the system of record and deliver cost savings,” Dauterive added. “Our service eliminates the need for servicers to dedicate resources to registration.”
About First American Field Services
First American Field Services, headquartered in Westlake, Texas, utilizes a nationwide database of inspectors and contractors to help ensure that each servicer’s financial interest is protected through quality property portfolio preservation.
About First American Real Estate Tax Service
First American Real Estate Tax Service, headquartered in Westlake, Texas, has more than 75 years of tax service experience. From the provision of basic tax service to complete tax outsourcing, the company utilizes a network of nationwide field offices, processing centers and technology solutions to deliver tax information quickly and accurately.
About First American
The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF) is a FORTUNE 500® company that traces its history to 1889. With revenues of approximately $8.2 billion in 2007, it is America’s largest provider of business information. First American combines advanced analytics with its vast data resources to supply businesses and consumers with valuable information products to support the major economic events of people’s lives, such as getting a job, renting an apartment, buying a car or house, securing a mortgage and opening or buying a business. The First American Family of Companies, many of which command leading market share positions in their respective industries, operate within five primary business segments, including: Title Insurance and Services, Specialty Insurance, Information and Outsourcing Solutions, Data and Analytic Solutions, and Risk Mitigation and Business Solutions. More information about the company and an archive of its press releases can be found at www.firstam.com.