First American to buy Docutech for $350M

Deal is expected to close by the end of March

From left: Amy Brandt and Dennis Gilmore
From left: Amy Brandt and Dennis Gilmore

Title insurance giant First American has reached a deal to buy housing tech company Docutech for $350 million.

The deal should close by the end of March, and Docutech’s current management team, including president and CEO Amy Brandt, will stay on board to lead the company, according to HousingWire.

Companies including CoreLogic, Ellie May and Roostify use Docutech’s services, which include eSign and eClosing technology. First American made the acquisition with an eye on moving toward completely digital mortgages and closings.

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The title insurance company said in a statement that its Docutech acquisition will allow it to more effectively provide lenders with “end-to-end digital mortgage and settlement services” and strengthen its relationship with the firms that already use Docutech products.

First American is one of the “big four” title insurance companies that has long dominated the industry. Fidelity National Financial and Stewart Information Services, two of the others, were expected to merge in a $1.2 billion deal but called off the deal last year in the face of opposition from the Federal Trade Commission.

Title insurance companies in New York have faced a whirlwind of conflicting court rulings over the legality of strict new regulations on the industry from the state’s Department of Financial Services in recent years. The latest ruling from the state appeals court determined that the ban on companies wining and dining their clients would remain in effect. [HousingWire]Eddie Small