March 15, 2017


Legislation on Lis Pendens Filed in Texas Legislature; Amicus Brief Filed by TLTA in Related Case

TLTA was instrumental in getting two bills filed last week – SB 1955 and HB 4086 – which would clarify that title insurance companies could rely on an expungement of lis pendens when evaluating a transaction. A recent combined case heard before the Supreme Court has begun to shed doubt on this previous certainty. If the Supreme Court were to decide that actual knowledge of the action in the lis pendens denied a purchaser the ability to rely on an expungement, this would have the practical effect of removing any ability of the title insurance industry to rely on an expungement, as each case would become a fact issue.
 
In addition, TLTA recently filed an amicus brief on lis pendens in these two cases combined and heard before the Supreme Court of Texas.
 
Read More »
 
Read the Amicus Brief »


Two More Title Insurance Bills Filed on Friday Bill Filing Deadline – TLTA Analyzing Impact

As TLTA reported in our Breaking News alert on Saturday, March 11, Friday was the deadline for bill filing at the Texas Legislature and, as we anticipated, there were additional bills filed dealing with the regulation of title insurance.
 
HB 4239 by Rep. Sergio Muñoz, Jr. (D-Palmview) proposes a flex band rate system as well as some other regulatory cleanup items dealing with transparency in reporting. SB 2203 by Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) does not address title insurance rate making at all, but mimics the other regulatory cleanup proposals in Muñoz’s bill.
 
Read the Breaking News Alert »

Texas Counties Rally Against Statewide Court Records Portal

Note: TLTA has been following this proposed legislation closely and working with stakeholders on both sides of the issue to ensure there are no negative unintended consequences for our industry. Aaron Day, director of government affairs and counsel for TLTA, testified at a hearing last week about this issue. The Texas Tribune covers this story in the link below. 
 
The Texas Supreme Court, through its Office of Court Administration, has worked for years on a one-stop legal records shop. Called re:SearchTX, the project is coming out in phases, with plans to eventually provide widespread public access.
 
The public portal would be funded through fees that attorneys pay to use the system. It would function like PACER, a widely used federal portal that charges subscribers small fees for access.
 
But county and district clerks are fuming. They’re pushing to kill the project in a wonky battle involving local control and privacy concerns, multimillion-dollar contracts and confusion about how the portal would ultimately work.
 
Read the Texas Tribune Story »

Trump Meets With U.S. Community Bankers, Pledges to Scale Back Regulations 

Reuters | March 9, 2017
President Donald Trump promised in a meeting with community bankers on March 9 to strip away some Dodd-Frank financial regulations and ensure they can continue giving small businesses access to capital.
 
Representing the industry were chief executives of nine community banks with assets of around $1 billion or less and the heads of the American Bankers Association and the Independent Community Bankers of America.
 
Read More »
 
One of the individuals Trump met with was ICBA's new incoming chairman and fellow Texan Scott Heitkamp, who hails from Corpus Christi.
 
Read More About ICBA and the Meeting »
 
Read More About Heitkamp and His New Role »

Red River Farmers Hope Trump Administration Resolves Land Dispute

Texas Tribune | March 8, 2017
North Texas farmer Tommy Henderson may soon get what he has long hoped for: a resolution to his community's lengthy dispute with the federal government over land along the Red River.
 
The debate swirling around how the river has moved along the boundary separating Texas and Oklahoma in recent years isn’t new, but a bill in Congress seeking to clarify the dispute and a new order in Washington have washed the once-dormant issue back to shore.
 
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Dodd-Frank Reform: Gutting Dodd-Frank Is Hard, so Republicans Focus Elsewhere 

Bloomberg | March 9, 2017
Here’s the latest indication Wall Street regulations won’t be gutted anytime soon: Republicans who write financial laws are starting to focus on other things.
 
In the House, the Financial Services Committee held a hearing about flood insurance, further stalling the rollout of Chairman Jeb Hensarling’s (R-Texas) plan to eliminate laws enacted in response to the financial crisis of 2008.
 
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D.C. Circuit Rejects Intervention in CFPB Case 

DS News | March 8, 2017
On March 7, the D.C. circuit rejected bids from both supporters and opponents of the CFPB in the trial of PHH Corp. vs. CFPB, Law360 reports, which has declared its leadership system unconstitutional, as the bureau's single-director structure is in violation of the Constitution's separation of powers clause.

The coalition had moved for reconsideration after already being rejected in February. Additionally, the court had blocked a bid by State National Bank of Big Spring, Texas. The small bank had previously attempted to challenge the constitutionality of the CFPB.
 
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TRID Updates: TRID Caused Bulk of Mortgage Lender QC Issues; Title and Settlement Services Felt Biggest Pain Points

A study conducted by mortgage process outsourcing firm MetaSource finds that 12 of the top 15 quality control issues mortgage lenders faced in 2016 were related to the CFPB's TRID rule. In fact, the six most frequent findings were issues with TRID requirements, the firm says.
 
Read "TRID Caused Bulk of QC Issues for Mortgage Lenders in 2016, Study Finds" (Mortgage Orb) »
 
In a conference room packed with lenders at the Ellie Mae Experience conference, it was clear that the proposed changes to the TRID rule are welcome, but don’t go nearly far enough. The biggest complaint? The CFPB’s proposed changes to the rule don’t address two of the biggest challenges, both of which concern lenders coordinating with title and settlement services.
 
Read "Biggest Industry Pain Points With TRID Still Tied to Title and Settlement Services" (HousingWire) »

New Credit Policy: Good for Consumers, Worrisome for Lenders

Chicago Tribune | March 7, 2017
What could be a boon for some homebuyers – their credit scores will get a surprise boost – might prove worrisome for mortgage lenders, landlords and others who depend on credit reports to evaluate their potential customers.
 
In a little-known policy shift, starting July 1 the three national credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – plan to stop collecting and reporting substantial amounts of civil judgment and tax lien information on public records affecting millions of American consumers.
 
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