Paperless Crusade unites industry leaders to support electronic real estate transactions

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Emeryville, CA (Nov. 4)-Inman News today announced The Paperless Crusade, a task force of residential real estate companies dedicated to making the fully digital housing transaction a commonplace reality. The Crusade will include transaction software vendors, researchers, journalists and major brokerages working together across a broad range of informational, promotional and technological fronts to raise awareness of paperless transactions and improve the paperless customer experience.

"Traditional house closing is an unpleasant experience for customers. It depresses the willingness of customers to go back into the market. All that paper. All those signatures! House buyers and sellers deserve better and now is the time for the industry to buckle down and deliver," said Brad Inman, publisher of Inman News. "If we can close the U.S..wheat sale to China electronically, the time has certainly come when we can close a house sale electronically."

The Paperless Crusade will focus in three areas:

--Information. Inman News will produce an ongoing series of Special Reports on Paperless solutions and possibilities. The first of these has already been completed and can be viewed at http://www.inman.com/Member/newsletter/1012pw34/index.html. Inman will also make Paperless a primary focus for the Real Estate Connect NY 2006 Conference January 11-13, with a Paperless Pavilion vendor showcase and a complete conference track on the topic. In addition, Clareity Consulting will survey the market and produce the first complete picture of the state of paperless solutions today.

--Promotion. On November 15, Inman will unveil a clearinghouse website of paperless information and access at http://www.inman.com/paperless/index.html . The website will serve as a central point where the entire residential community can turn to learn all they need about the state of digital transactions. Inman Stories will produce digital videos about paperless solutions from many vendors. These will be displayed at the website, as well as many other internet locations and at Inman events.

--Technology cooperation. The Crusade will have a Paperless Leadership Council that will meet regularly to discuss standards, interoperability, new technologies and other issues essential to improving the ease of use and quality of customer experience with paperless transactions. Initially, the Councils members will include: Patrick Stone, longtime industry executive and Vice Chairman of Metrocities Mortgage; Travis Wright, CEO of Stewart Realty Solutions; Darcy Patch, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Fidelity National Financial; Mark Lesswig, Vice President, Center for Realtor Technology; Gregg Larson of Clareity Consulting and Mike Edelhart, CEO of Inman News. Others are expected to join in the weeks ahead.

Stewart Title, a leader in the real estate information industry, was the first company to commit to full participation in the Crusade.

"At Stewart, we are fully committed to enhancing the customers home buying and selling experience through the eTransaction. Being the first to support the Paperless Crusade is further evidence of that commitment," said Travis Wright, CEO of Stewart Realty Solutions. "Our paperless solutions including the SureClose® transaction management platform and propriety eClosingRoom™ with eSignatures, are currently deployed in over 800 Stewart locations to better serve our real estate brokers, agents and consumer customers. We look forward to sharing these experiences and contributing our technology expertise and thought leadership to this industry-wide initiative which will benefit all stakeholders in the real estate transaction, especially 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). SureClose is a product of Stewart Realty Solutions. For more information on Stewart Realty Solutions paperless solutions, go to http://www.inmanstories.com/movies/newplayer.cfm?name=sureclose.

For more information on the Paperless Crusade, contact Mike Edelhart, CEO, Inman News, 510-658-9252, ext. 123.

About Inman News

Inman News (www.inman.com) is the nation's leading independent real estate news service and content provider to 250+ U.S. newspapers and 50,000 Web sites, reaching millions of consumers each day through clients and partners such as The Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Washington Post, Denver Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Google, The Wall Street Journal Online, CBS Marketwatch, and many more.

Inman News also offers information-based products and services for the real estate professional and consumer, including Inman News Membership, Digital Media and News content for the Web and Special Reports. In addition, Inman produces two technology conferences per year for the Real Estate Industry: Real Estate Connect SF and Real Estate Connect NYC. RE Connect is the real estate and mortgage industry's premier networking event, gathering together in industry's leading decision makers, opinion leader and innovators in an open forum for discussion and debate.

The company headquarters are located in Emeryville, California, 10 miles east of San Francisco.

About Stewart Realty Solutions

Stewart Realty Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of Stewart Information Services Corp., provides paperless transaction management solutions to the real estate, closing and mortgage industries. In January 2004, Stewart Realty Solutions acquired RealtyAssist, which had partnered with Stewart Title Co. for four years to provide the private-labeled transaction management system for Stewart Title agents. The SureClose system is already installed in more than 800 Stewart affiliated and independent title agency offices. More information can be found at www.sureclose.com.

About Stewart

Stewart Title Co. and Stewart Realty Solutions are wholly owned subsidiaries of Stewart Information Services Corp. (NYSE-STC), a technology driven, strategically competitive, real estate information and transaction management company. Stewart provides title insurance and related information services required for settlement by the real estate and mortgage industries through more than 8,000 policy-issuing offices and agencies in the United States and international markets. Stewart also provides post-closing lender services, automated county clerk land records, property ownership mapping, geographic information systems, property information reports, flood certificates, document preparation, background checks and expertise in tax-deferred exchanges. More information can be found at www.stewart.com.

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