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‘Shotgun’ Fraudsters Beware

Fraud Prevention Tool Detects Multi-Liens

Santa Ana, Calif. - (October 27, 2008) First American CoreLogic, a member of The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF) family of companies and America’s largest provider of advanced property and ownership information, analytics and services, today announced that its Multi-Closing Alert Program has prevented more than $175 million in losses in its first 20 months for participating equity lenders who represent more than half of the equity lending market in the United States.

The Multi-Closing Alert Program helps lenders identify and stop multi-lien fraud, also known as “shotgun” fraud. Multi-lien fraud targets residential equity lending through fraudulent borrower schemes to apply for and close multiple loans on a single residential property within a short time period. The Multi-Closing Alert Program monitors all participating institution loan applications and pending closing activity and electronically notifies them of multiple activities occurring on a single residential property. According to data from First American CoreLogic, this type of fraud continues to be prevalent in several regions of the U.S., including California, New York, New Jersey and Florida.

“As of August, nominal home prices declined 11.3 percent from a year ago. Our early September view of the data indicates a decline of 11 percent from a year ago. For the third month now, the rate of decline has held steady at around 11 percent. Our projection for pre-foreclosure and foreclosure filings through the end of 2008 remains at approximately 3.2 million, but a significant increase in job losses reported by the government in October is likely to pressure the pre-foreclosure and foreclosure filing projection upward,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for First American CoreLogic. “Recent events in the credit markets and financial markets, as well as economic trends, have increased risk facing the housing market. The current assessment is that we expect house prices to maintain their steady state or potentially begin to further accelerate downward in light of the economic pressures. No news currently points to an expectation for an improvement in price levels in the near term,” added Fleming.

“Our participation in the Multi-Closing Alert Program has enabled us to take an aggressive and proactive industry approach to combating these increasingly common and costly fraud scenarios,” said Joe Jackson, senior vice president for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. “We believe this cooperation with other leading lending institutions, combined with the program’s proven effectiveness, will become an industry standard in loss prevention strategy.”

“We’re committed to equipping the mortgage industry with the most effective tools for fraud prevention,” said George Livermore, chief executive officer for First American CoreLogic. “The Multi-Closing Alert Program has clearly demonstrated in its short tenure just how crucial it is for lenders to leverage our information and technology to combat common fraud schemes.”

SOURCE: First American Core Logic

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