First American Title Insurance Co. has combined itsLenders Advantage and Equity Loan Services divisions into a single unit, with the Lenders Advantage division providing mortgage and home equity lenders with one source for title services, the company said today.

Previously, Lenders Advantage served lenders who were funding mortgages for people buying a house and hence taking out the first mortgage, and Equity Loan Services worked with lenders whose clients were taking out equity loans or second or third mortgages.

The move aims to streamline First American’s product and service offering to its lender customers, the company said.

“By combining the strengths of both divisions, we’re able to offer mortgage lenders more choice and greater service efficiency,” said James J. Dufficy, executive director of First American Title’s new Lenders Advantage Division.

First American’s objective is to build on its strength of delivering complete settlement solutions that are unique in the marketplace, the company said.

By combining its Lenders Advantage and ELS Divisions, First American has increased its flexibility in designing customized programs for every type of lender and loan, according to the company.

First American will continue to capitalize on its unique centralization process, which employs advanced technology and expertise to connect offices nationwide, while meeting lenders needs on an individual basis, the company said.

Paul Doman, the former president of the Equity Loan Services Team, will continue to oversee First American’s services for equity lenders. Doman said in a statement that he was “thrilled” to become part of Lenders Advantage.

“Now we can provide uniform technology and customer solutions to all types of lenders while retaining our equity niche focus,” Doman said.

“The combination will reduce expense and help us gain efficiency as we develop a centralized, national title production and recording group in Cleveland, Ohio. Home equity lenders will see significant benefits as we increase national title production capacity and improve title information turnaround time,” Doman claimed.

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