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Wednesday March 22, 1:01 pm Eastern Time

Company Press Release


ARC Systems Allies With IMX Exchange

IMX Exchange Members to Receive Internet-Based Credit Evaluation And Pricing Decisions Through ARC Systems' AU Technology

NEW ORLEANS, March 22 /PRNewswire/ -- ARC Systems and IMX® Exchange announced at the MBA National Technology in Mortgage Banking Conference 2000 that they have signed a technical alliance. Under this agreement, IMX Exchange members will receive Internet-based automated credit evaluation and mortgage pricing decisions through ARC Systems' rules-based decisioning technology. The companies developed this alliance in response to IMX Exchange lender member requests for expanded availability of the credit tools they need to more efficiently select loans and determine bids at the point-of-sale.

Ed Jones, President and CEO of ARC Systems, said, ``This is a welcomed partnership with IMX Exchange and illustrates how the subprime lending market is growing. More and more customers will now be able to fully realize the benefits of the speed and efficiency offered by Internet-based technologies, from origination to credit decisioning and pricing.''

``IMX Exchange continually strives to deliver value to its members by expanding the tool-base and information resources available for loan transactions,'' said Richard Wilkes, president and CEO of IMX Exchange. ``The ARC Systems automated underwriting capability is a key addition to our slate of service offerings which will allow lenders to lower risk and reduce costs. It will enable our members to fund loans more rapidly for all consumers, including those with less-than-perfect credit.''

ARC Systems provides IMX Exchange members with Internet-based automated underwriting and credit decisions based on each lender's own criteria. Lender members who want to use this technology supply ARC with their guidelines for credit approval and product pricing. When an application is submitted through IMX Exchange to the automated underwriting system for approval, the application is decisioned within seconds based on the lender's parameters. If the application does not fall within these established guidelines, it is tagged for manual underwriting.

First Franklin Financial Corporation®, a subsidiary of National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC - news) and the nation's largest nonprime wholesale lender, currently uses ARC Systems' technology to underwrite its wholesale loan applications and is working with IMX Exchange to be the first member lender to use the combined technology offering. ``Now that the relationship is established to use ARC Systems' AU tools on IMX Exchange, First Franklin will be able to provide brokers with an immediate response to the nonprime loan applications posted on the Exchange,'' CEO of First Franklin Bill Dallas said. ``The automated underwriting system considerably increases processing efficiency which will allow First Franklin to close more loans in less time over the Exchange.''

``IMX Exchange provides ARC Systems with an efficient platform to leverage the power of the Internet to make immediate credit decisions and close more loans quickly -- both great benefits to our customers,'' Ed Jones said. ``We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with IMX Exchange.''

About ARC Systems

Founded in 1984 as Advanced Resource Computer Systems, ARC Systems is a privately held company that provides lending institutions, banks and credit unions across the nation with the power to make fast, accurate and consistent decisions at the point-of-sale for risk-based pricing and credit evaluation. Empowering financial institutions with the ability to make better business decisions, the company's proprietary, patent-pending, rules-based system is used by more than 80 lending operations nationwide, including Aames Financial Corp., First Franklin Financial, Option One and Irwin Mortgage.

For more information about ARC Systems, contact Mary Tipps at (512) 892-5550, via email at mtipps@arcsystems.com, or write the company at 5316 Highway 290 West, Suite 500, Austin, TX 78735. The company's Web site can be viewed at www.arcsystems.com .

About First Franklin Financial Corporation

First Franklin Financial Corporation was founded in 1981 to serve the prime credit market. In 1994, the company made a strategic move to serve the nonprime lending market, and in 1995, First Franklin introduced a proprietary credit-risk lending solution called Direct Access. The wholesale lender currently works with more than 11,000 mortgage brokers nationwide and operates 24 wholesale centers throughout the United States. First Franklin originates, purchases, sells and securitizes nonconforming/subprime, residential, first and second lien mortgage loans. The company employs nearly 1,000 mortgage professionals and originated $4.5 billion in nonprime mortgages in 1999.

For more information about First Franklin, contact Marketing Manager Amy Witmer at (408) 964-6000 or write to 2150 North First Street, San Jose, CA 95131.

About IMX Exchange

IMX® Exchange, based in San Ramon, California, is a neutral, Internet- based, electronic marketplace serving the wholesale mortgage industry. The IMX Exchange solution brings together mortgage brokers and lenders in an online trading community to reduce the time and cost required for search, comparison, pricing, selection and locking of mortgage loan transactions. Founded in 1995, IMX Exchange has more than 6,000 mortgage originator members representing more than 1,400 mortgage brokerages in 44 states, as well as a network of national, regional and local lender members. Since launching its marketplace in October 1997, more than $1.8 billion in loan volume has traded on the Exchange. Through alliances with three of the leading loan origination software (LOS) providers, IMX Exchange loan trading technology will be integrated into these LOS' upgrade releases starting in Q2'00, making seamless loan posting and pricing capability available to the 70 percent of the U.S. mortgage broker market served by these vendors. IMX Exchange loan trading technology is protected by U.S. Patent #5,995,947 and other applicable Intellectual Property rights.

For more information about IMX Exchange, please visit www.imxexchange.com or call (800) 401-4639.

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