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National City Opens the Doors to Homeownership for Latinos: Company Signs on to The First American/MSN Latino Finanzas Portal as Preferred Mortgage Lender

National City Takes on the Largely Untapped Latino Market by Offering Its New 'National Dream' Product to Consumers on MSN Latin

CLEVELAND, May 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- National City and The First American Corporation have joined forces to present National City Mortgage as a preferred mortgage lender on the First American/MSN Latino "Finanzas" Personal Finance Center, offering National City's new National Dream Mortgage product on the site. Accessible under the "Finanzas" area of the MSN Latino, the center provides resources for Latinos about major economic decisions consumers make, including homeownership. National City's sponsorship further underscores the company's commitment to providing Latino customers with access to financial advice, products and services tailored to fit their needs and open the doors to homeownership and financial success.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20030428/NATIONALCITYLOGO )

National City recognizes the growing importance and economic contributions of Latino consumers and small business owners, who have grown to be 35 million strong and now represent more than 13 percent of the country's population. Following its mission to do what's right for its customers, National City is focusing considerable resources to meet the unique banking needs of this significant group.

"Research shows that homeownership among foreign-born Latinos rose 40 percent in 1999 and is expected to increase 50 percent by 2010. We want to help these borrowers, many of whom may have non-traditional sources of income, obtain their dream of homeownership," said Buck Bibb, chief executive officer of National City Mortgage. "This has become an increasingly important market for National City, and our new National Dream product allows us to meet the needs of Latino consumers in an unprecedented way for us."

The National Dream product provides a number of flexible options on income and credit that will help borrowers who may have experienced difficulties in qualifying for a mortgage. In the program, borrowers with income from regular wages can also use income from a cash source or boarder income to qualify for their loan. In addition, borrowers without established credit are able to use alternate credit sources such as rent, utilities or child care in the application.

"The path to homeownership also does not require a large down payment," said Mary Morstadt, senior vice president of Specialty Lending at National City. "Borrowers may qualify for a loan with no money down or may be required to invest as little as $500 toward a 3 percent down payment. Acceptable sources for closing costs and down payment include gifts from family members, grants and cash on hand. Sellers of a property may also contribute up to 6 percent for closing costs." National Dream loans are available for purchase or refinance of owner-occupied one-, two-, three-, or four-unit properties. Borrowers may also choose between a fixed or adjustable rate loan. The loan may be repaid in full without penalty during the entire 30-year term.

"By joining forces with First American to offer our National Dream product on MSN Latino, National City is able to reach out to a great number of Latino consumers in their own language," Bibb continued. "Research shows that Latinos spend more time online than the average non-Latino consumer, and we recognize that this is an important way to serve this market. There are 11.1 million Latinos who regularly use the Internet and they spend an average of nearly $2,700 per user online each year. We are pleased to have developed this relationship with First American/MSN Latino, providing an important way to reach out to this consumer group and serve them in an efficient and culturally relevant manner."

In addition to the MSN Latino sponsorship, National City has also recently completed the groundwork of a series of initiatives designed to increase Latinos' access to banking products and services, including offering all product materials in Spanish, bilingual assistance at all National City ATMs and a Spanish version of the company's Web site, as well as a new Spanish- enabled customer service 1-800 number. This broad initiative also involves partnerships with local Latino leaders and community organizations and recruitment of Latino and bilingual employees.

"At National City, we are devoted to building strong relationships with the Latino community and want to make banking a positive experience. We believe we will accomplish this by getting involved in our neighborhoods to build relationships and develop trust," said Cristian Sandoval, vice president and Hispanic Marketing manager. "By working alongside community leaders, we have been able to gain an understanding of the unique needs of Latinos and are better-equipped to help them achieve their dreams."

More information about Spanish-enabled services offered by National City can be obtained at NationalCity.com/espanol . The National Dream Mortgage product can be accessed on MSN Latino at latino.msn.com/promo/finanzas/hipotecas.armx .

About National City

National City Corporation , headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, is one of the nation's largest financial holding companies. The company operates through an extensive banking network primarily in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri and Pennsylvania, and also serves customers in selected markets nationally. Its core businesses include commercial and retail banking, mortgage financing and servicing, consumer finance and asset management. For more information about National City, visit the company's Web site at NationalCity.com .

About National City Mortgage

National City Mortgage (NCM) originates residential real estate loans through National City 's more than 1,200 bank branches as well as through a network of more than 500 wholesale and retail broker offices located in 43 states. These loans are ultimately sold to primary mortgage market aggregators with the servicing of loans retained in the National City family. National City is recognized as one of the top 10 lenders to minorities in the United States as well as one of the top residential originators and servicers nationally. National City Mortgage's Web site can be found at: http://www.nationalcitymortgage.com/ .

About First American

The First American Corporation , a Fortune 500 company that traces its history to 1889, is the nation's largest data provider. First American combines advanced analytics with its vast data resources to supply businesses and consumers with valuable information products to support the major economic events of people's lives, such as getting a job, renting an apartment, buying a car or house, securing a mortgage and opening or buying a business. The First American Family of Companies, many of which command leading market share positions in their respective industries, operate within six primary business segments, including: Title Insurance and Services, Specialty Insurance, Mortgage Information, Property Information, Credit Information and Screening Information. With revenues of $6.72 billion in 2004, First American has 31,000 employees in approximately 2,000 offices throughout the United States and abroad. More information about the company and an archive of its press releases can be found at http://www.firstam.com/ .

National City Corporation

CONTACT: Media, Kelly J. Wagner of National City Corporation,
+1-216-222-9514, or [email protected]

Web site: http://www.nationalcity.com/

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