Most of the ratings firms use an alphabetical rating system for title firms.

DEMOTECH INC. RATING LEVELS A' (A Double Prime): Unsurpassed financial stability related to withstanding a general economic downturn or deterioration of an underwriting cycle. The distinction between A Double Prime and A Prime may be related to the magnitude of policy holders' surplus, market share or national presence.

A' (A Prime): Unsurpassed financial stability related to withstanding a general economic downturn or deterioration of an underwriting cycle.

A: Exceptional financial stability related to withstanding a general economic downturn or deterioration of an underwriting cycle.

S: Substantial financial stability related to withstanding a general economic downturn or deterioration of an underwriting cycle.

M: Moderate financial stability related to withstanding a general economic downturn or deterioration of an underwriting cycle.

L: Licensed by state regulatory authorities. In Demotech's opinion, the ability of these title insurers to withstand a deterioration in general economic conditions or a deterioration in the underwriting cycle is below average.

* Statutory Accounting Rating Definitions - permits relatively new title underwriters access to a rating that is Fannie Mae acceptable:

C+: Above-average capability to withstand a general economic downturn or deterioration of an underwriting cycle.

C: Average capability to withstand a general economic downturn or deterioration of an underwriting cycle.

C-: Below-average capability to withstand a general economic down turn or deterioration of underwriting cycle.

LACE FINANCIAL CORP. RATING LEVELS A+, A or B+: Has a strong overall financial condition that will allow it to meet its future claims. As a rule, these companies have good operating earnings, are well capitalized and have adequate reserves.

B: Most title companies fall into this category. The range in financial soundness and ability to meet future claims is fairly large for this category. For this reason, one should compare the individual ratios when making decisions among these companies.

C+: May have some financial ratios that are below average, but are considered "investment grade."

C: May be financially weak in one or more areas of liquidity, asset quality, capital and reserves and earnings.

D and E: Likely to have a lower probability of meeting their future claims. Careful consideration should be made when dealing with these companies.

NR: Have not submitted sufficient data to be rated.