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First American Financial Buys N.Y. Tax Services Firm

September 06, 1990|JAMES S. GRANELLI | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SANTA ANA — First American Financial Corp., one of the nation's largest title insurers, has acquired a New York tax services firm that will more than double First American's revenue in a market it entered three years ago.

First American purchased the realty tax services division of Metropolitan Realty Services Group for an undisclosed amount of cash and assumption of debt. A source close to the transaction estimated the purchase price at about $4 million.

The tax service informs lenders about borrowers who are not paying property taxes so that lenders can act before any government entity starts foreclosure.

"It's a big step for us," Parker S. Kennedy, First American president, said of the acquisition. "It broadens our horizons and potential number of customers."

The acquisition of Metropolitan Realty provides First American with the ability to search tax records in the Northeast more quickly and to give more information to lenders there. Metropolitan's computer system was developed specifically to handle the complexities of tax service in the Northeast, and the system will be integrated with First American's system, Kennedy said.

First American has been marketing its tax information services to lenders in all 50 states, but it has been searching records from its Santa Ana headquarters. Last year, tax services provided the company $3 million in revenue, Kennedy said.

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