February 22, 2017

Bills TLTA Is Following This Session

It’s less than two months into the legislative session, and more than 3,000 bills have already been filed. Lawmakers have until March 10 to file proposed legislation so that number will continue to grow. Out of those more than 3,000 bills, TLTA is currently actively following 44 bills on topics including:
Title insurance regulations
Eminent domain
Partition of real estate
Powers of attorney
Real estate transactions
Mineral interests
Foreclosure
Access to public records
Privacy issues
Franchise tax
Tax issues
Electronic filing
POA/HOA
Remote e-notary
Sales price disclosure
TLTA has compiled a list of the bills we are actively following, a brief description and links so you can track them as well. Throughout the session, we will continue to update the status of these bills and add new ones we are tracking so you can stay informed and follow the progress of these proposed new laws that would affect your business.

See Bills We're Following »

Remote E-Notary Bill Filed in Texas –
TLTA Working With Stakeholders

Rep. Tan Parker, Chairman of the Investment and Financial Services Committee, has filed HB 1217, a bill establishing the framework for remote e-notarization in Texas. The Texas Mortgage Bankers Association is championing this bill and working closely with the notary industry, the Secretary of State’s office and the title industry to craft a bill that will address the concerns of all the stakeholders. There will be subsequent revisions to the filed bill incorporating this feedback.
 
TMBA is also working with ALTA to take into account the feedback from the national title insurance industry, in addition to TLTA members. ALTA recently sent a letter to the National Association of Secretaries of State offering support of efforts to promote the understanding of remote electronic notarizations. The organization has also formed a work group establishing principles for legislation creating remote e-notary procedures. Additionally, the ALTA work group is currently focusing on HB 1217 as a potential model bill for the nation.
 
Virginia and Montana have recently enacted remote e-notarization laws that have been met with concern by the national title industry. Additionally, in many state legislatures around the country, bills have been filed to create a remote e-notary option. The goal of the current stakeholders is to craft a bill that can serve as a national model and address some of the problems identified with the new statutes in other states.
 
In addition, Dateline Austin published a story on Jan. 19 (second story down) about e-notaries and Texas, referencing Quicken's recent push for e-notarization.

Important TDI Resource on Title Industry Regulation in Texas

Texas Department of Insurance | Feb. 22, 2017

Did you know TDI has a webpage that explains how title insurance is regulated in Texas? This page is a great resource for agents dealing with lender vetting, or for situations when a lender or another party has questions about how our industry is regulated. It explains audits, licensing, CE requirements and much more.
 
View "How TDI Regulates and Oversees Title Insurance Agents" »

Sen. Ted Cruz Introduces Bill to Abolish CFPB

HousingWire | Feb. 15, 2017

While there appear to be some in the Republican Party who simply want to reform the CFPB, there are at least two Republicans on Capitol Hill who want to kill the agency altogether.

A pair of matching bills was introduced Tuesday, Feb. 14, in the House of Representatives and the Senate, which would abolish the CFPB entirely. The bills, introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, would repeal Title X of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, which established the CFPB.
 
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Court of Appeals Agrees to Rehear CFPB Case; Agency to Fight "Unconstitutional" Ruling

HousingWire | Feb. 16, 2017

If Donald Trump wants to fire CFPB director Richard Cordray, he’s going to have to wait a little longer to do it, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Thursday in favor of the CFPB. The ruling allows the embattled agency to defend the constitutionality of its leadership structure.
 
The ruling stems from the CFPB’s fight against PHH, which started with a $103 million increase to a $6 million fine initially levied against PHH for allegedly illegally referring consumers to mortgage insurers in exchange for kickbacks.
 
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Republican Senator Casts Doubt on Quick Action to Dismantle
Dodd-Frank 

Bloomberg | Feb. 15, 2017

A key Republican Senator is casting doubt on hopes for quick action to dismantle the Dodd-Frank Act or overhaul the U.S. mortgage finance system, citing the need for bipartisan support in a Congress that seems to be far from providing it.
 
The need to confirm Donald Trump’s nominees, congressional rules on the time lawmakers have to debate legislation and bitter political battles will make it difficult to move any measure, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo said Wednesday. Crapo believes it might take at least 12 to 24 months to advance housing reform legislation, in particular, his spokeswoman said.
 
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Survey Finds More Than Half of Homebuyers Surprised by Closing Costs

American Land Title Association | Feb. 16, 2017

More than 50 percent of homebuyers were surprised that they had to pay closing costs or that the fees were higher than expected, according to a survey released by ClosingCorp.
 
Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research, on behalf of ClosingCorp, surveyed 1,000 first-time and repeat homebuyers who had purchased a home between Jan. 1, 2016 and Jan. 1, 2017. The survey explored whether the year-old TRID rule has helped consumers better understand the closing costs associated with purchasing a home.
 
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TLTA is scheduling several live webinars for spring 2017. Register now, or reserve your On-Demand version today!

TAR Commercial Contract Forms (Tuesday, March 7)
1031 Exchange (Wednesday, March 8)
Decedents' Estates (Thursday, March 16)
The Long and Short of It (Wednesday, March 22)
Foreclosures (Thursday, April 20)