Universal Settlements Announces Launch of Strategic Markets Division

April 25, 2008

Universal Settlements, a subsidiary of First American Title Insurance Company has launched Strategic Markets Division in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. First American Title's Strategic Markets Division provides culturally insightful business solutions for real estate practitioners to more effectively serve the region's rapidly growing multicultural and new immigrant home-buying communities.

"Universal Settlements is already recognized as one of the leading real estate settlement companies in the Mid-Atlantic region," said Vivian Vasallo, vice president of First American Title's eastern region Strategic Markets Division. "With their combined depth of experience, commitment to service and a culturally diverse staff to provide clients with flexibility and convenience they can rely on, Universal Settlements' addition of a Strategic Markets Division will foster the growth of homeownership and underscore the company's unique ability to service the needs of this region."

Because Universal Settlements understands the need to offer customized solutions to the Mid-Atlantic region's expanding multicultural community, this new Strategic Markets Division will provide numerous specialized services, including attorneys with multicultural backgrounds to answer consumers' questions and in-language mobile services at closings. "Multicultural homebuyers can find the closing experience uncomfortable due to language barriers and unfamiliarity with the whole process," said Marty Stanton, counsel for Universal Settlements. "Our in-language mobile services provide experienced settlement officers who can accommodate particular language needs and alleviate anxiety by walking customers carefully through the closing process in the convenience of their home. This is a tremendous opportunity to help strengthen our communities and to establish Universal Settlements as the company of choice among multicultural homebuyers and the real estate professionals who serve them."

While recent U.S. Census Bureau reports indicate that national multicultural homeownership rates have lagged 12 percent to 28 percent behind the rate of 75.3 percent held by whites, the Washington, D.C. metro area is home to several of the largest multicultural markets in the country. Diversity of immigrant flow makes this area especially unique, with more than 193 countries represented, according to the Immigration and Naturalization Service. For example, the area had the ninth largest Latino population gain in the U.S. between the years 2000 and 2005.

Source: Universal Settlements

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