Industry News

Fitch cuts First American’s debt, insurer strength ratings

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Following through on a warning issued last month, analysts at Fitch Ratings today lowered First American Corp.'s insurer financial strength and debt ratings by a notch, and said they remain subject to further downgrade. The ratings moves were a response to First American's announcement of an expected $50 million fourth-quarter loss, a reorganization of the company, and expected weakness in title insurance, Fitch analysts said. Downgraded from "A+" to "A" were the insurer financial strength ratings of a dozen title insurance companies under the First American umbrella, including First American Ttitle Insurance, Land Title Insurance Co. of St. Louis, Mortgage Guaranty & Title Co. and United General Title Insurance Co.. Fitch said it also initiated coverage of four other First American title insurance companies with an initial insurer financial strength rating of "A." The IFS ratings, of Pacific Northwest Title Insurance Co., Censtar Title Insurance Co., T.A. Title In...