Thursday, October 27, 2005

Firm Sees Future In Foreclosures

The Orange County Register reports on one California companys plans for housings future. "First American Corp.'s real-estate businesses may be thriving in a hot housing market, but the Santa Ana-based company is hedging its bets by beefing up its foreclosure-processing businesses."

"First American Chairman and CEO Parker Kennedy said he expects foreclosures to more than double in 2006. He noted that foreclosures are at historic lows thanks to rising home prices. Homeowners suffering a financial setback, like losing a job, don't have to foreclose. Merely selling their homes today raises enough to pay off the mortgage for many owners in trouble."

"But Kennedy predicted that foreclosures will return to relatively normal levels as fewer homeowners rely on rising home prices to bail them out."

"First American benefited from the frenetic housing market because it is selling more title-insurance policies, which account for 70 percent of the firm's gross revenues. First American is already benefiting from bad news in real estate: flooding damage from Hurricane Katrina and Rita. First American is a leading provider of data on flood-prone homes – information that lenders and insurers have requested in growing numbers since the storms ravaged the Gulf Coast."


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