Stewart's eClosingRoom(TM) Technology Transforms Home Buying Experience for Fresno, Calif., Buyers

July 22, 2005

HOUSTON, /PRNewswire/ -- On June 30, Stewart Title completed its second electronic closing on the sale of a single-family home using eClosingRoom, an electronic closing platform fully integrated into the SureClose® online transaction management system.

The closing took place at Stewart Title of California, Fresno division, at 8355 N. Fresno St., #120.

"We are proud to be a part of the progression to a completely electronic real estate transaction," said Mick Goodenough, division president, Stewart Title of California, Fresno. "Now that online banking and online bill-paying have become standard, consumers are requesting a paperless real estate closing process."

"With eClosingRoom technology, Stewart Title continues to hold true to its mission of enhancing the customer's experience during the closing process," said Darren Ross, director of e-commerce, Stewart Information Services Corp. "With eClosingRoom and SureClose technologies, consumers are able to review and sign many of their loan and other documents electronically, prior to and during the actual closing."

"We are working with lenders to implement electronic mortgage notes, and with county clerks and recorders to accept electronic notarization and implement electronic recording," added Ross. "As each piece of the electronic transaction falls into place, we will see the benefits of a reduction in paper-based and delivery costs, as well as a more efficient and enjoyable closing process for the consumer."

The eClosingRoom technology was developed by Silanis Technology and Stewart Title Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Stewart Information Services Corp. (NYSE: STC - News). SureClose is a product of Stewart Realty Solutions.

Julia A. Promnitz and D. Scott Galbraith were the buyers in this transaction. They used a simple "click to sign" process (utilizing only a mouse/stylus and Web browser) and a "sign-once, apply-many" signature capture process on a desktop PC to affix their electronic signatures to the documents.

Documents included the prelim approval, supplemental escrow instructions, loan payment information, affiliated business arrangement disclosure and a California disclosure. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage served as the lender in this transaction.

The buyers, lender and realtor had the ability to review documents in advance of their closing through access to their SureClose user ID and password-protected Web site. Stewart Title of California, Fresno division sent all documents to the SureClose archive for long-term storage.

"With SureClose, because they've (the buyers) already reviewed the documents, they can come in here and focus their time and energy on what's being said to them (in the closing)," said Shawna M. Bonaime, Realtor®, London Properties Ltd. "It's so easy and so convenient."

All parties will be able to access the documents online at the SureClose Web site at any time after the closing or in advance of their next real estate transaction.

"Since we were able to review our documents prior to the closing, the closing process was convenient and easy to understand. With the ability to sign many of our documents electronically, we didn't 'sign our hands off' as you would at a typical closing," said Julia Promnitz of Fresno, Calif. "We enjoyed leaving the office with our documents on a CD rather than a bulky file of legal papers."

Source: Stewart Title Co.

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