January 4, 2018


Thanks TLTAPAC Contributors – It's Time to Make Your Commitment for 2018

J. Christopher Phillips, President, Texas Land Title Association | Jan. 2, 2018
I want to personally thank the more than 825 supporters who contributed over $525,000 to the TLTAPAC in 2017. Your contributions were critical to our legislative efforts. Thanks also to our TLTAPAC 2017 fundraising chairs Randy Pittman and Patrick Rose for spearheading our peer-to-peer fundraising efforts and to their amazing fundraising committee. It would not have happened without these dedicated folks.
 
As we begin 2018, I'd like to thank Jordan Anderson, Bo Feagin, Bill James and Brad Irelan for their willingness to lead our 2018 TLTAPAC fundraising efforts. If you have not heard from one of the members of our fundraising team, you will soon, and we thank you in advance for your continued support, which is so critical to ensuring that our Texas title system continues to work for all Texans.
 
Look for communication soon asking for your 2018 PAC donation. With your continued help, we can reach our goal again this year.
 
Make a Personal Contribution Today »

 Tax News: Clarification on Deduction of Second Mortgages 

James E. Hyland, Esq. | The Pennsylvania Group and TLTA Federal Legislative Counsel | Jan. 2, 2018
On Dec. 20 we reported on the details of the tax bill, but some clarification is needed on the treatment of second mortgages for a principal residence and the mortgage interest deduction.
 
While the House-passed tax bill had initially sought to deny the mortgage interest deduction for a second residence, the final agreement between the House and Senate lowers the mortgage interest deduction from $1 million to $750,000 (for married couples) and $375,000 (in the case of married individuals filing separately) on new purchases, but it does not make a distinction on whether the interest deduction is for a first or second principal residence. Thus, interest on second mortgages is not disallowed, but falls under the cap, just as under current law. The Conference report, however, very specifically excludes interest incurred from home equity indebtedness, which is unfortunate just as Texas made getting a home equity loan less rigorous.  
 
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Affordable housing provisions of note:

  • The low-income housing tax credit that encourages businesses to invest in affordable housing was preserved.
  • The bill also keeps the tax-preferred status of private-activity bonds that are used to finance infrastructure and affordable housing projects by municipalities.


Reminder: GARC Fee Collection Runs Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2018

Texas Land Title Association | Jan. 2, 2018
As TLTA reported in December, the Texas Department of Insurance has set a Guaranty Assessment Recoupment Charge (GARC) Fee of $4.50. Beginning Jan. 1, 2018 through Dec. 31, 2018, title agents will be required to collect the GARC Fee on each owner and loan policy.
 
In a memo sent to all Texas title agents on Dec. 6, TTIGA said, "All GARCs must be collected at closing and remitted to the Texas Title Insurance Guaranty Association (“TTIGA”) on a quarterly basis, with the first GARC remittance due on May 1, 2018. For purposes of collecting the GARC, a closing is deemed to occur when the closing documents are signed by the parties to the transaction. The GARC should be remitted to TTIGA using the 2018 TTIGA Guaranty Assessment Recoupment Charge Remittance Form..." 
 
The TTIGA website has complete details including the remittance form, due dates and FAQs.
 
Get the GARC Remittance Form »
Read the Commissioner's Order »


North Texas Title Agent Sentenced for Stealing Millions

Texas Department of Insurance | Jan. 3, 2018
Nancy Carroll, the former owner of Millennium Title in Keller, was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay $8.6 million after a Texas Department of Insurance investigation found she had stolen millions from her clients and investors. 
 
Read the TDI News Release »
 

Five Ways Financial Laws Could Change in 2018

The Hill | Jan. 1, 2018
Republicans have made limited progress on President Trump's pledge to "dismantle" the Dodd-Frank Act, which the GOP had hoped to gut by the end of 2017. But the GOP and independent regulators could still make critical changes to key parts of the law's legacy.

With a conservative new director for the consumer bureau, bipartisan interest in amending parts of Dodd-Frank and the GOP focused on pulling back a few key rules, here are five ways finance laws could change in 2018.
 
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Top Five Housing Predictions for 2018

The M Report | Dec. 21, 2017
What a year that was. Admit it—some years are less memorable, but not so for 2017. We had the greatest seller’s market ever and then the lowest home inventory in what seems to be forever. Interest rates remained low but are now rising, and refinancing plummeted as expected. We had a Seattle housing bubble. On one side of the country, we had devastating hurricanes. So, what’s next for 2018?
 
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CFPB News: Bureau Does Not Plan to Assess Penalties for Errors in HMDA Data Collected in 2018

CFPB | Dec. 21, 2017
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a public statement on Dec. 21, 2017 announcing that the Bureau does not intend to require data resubmission unless data errors are material or assess penalties with respect to errors for data collected in 2018 and reported in 2019 under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).
 
The Bureau also announced it intends to open a rulemaking to reconsider various aspects of the Bureau’s 2015 HMDA rule, such as the institutional and transactional coverage tests and the rule’s discretionary data points. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2018, financial institutions will submit HMDA data collected in 2017 and beyond using the Bureau’s new online platform.
 
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TLTA is scheduling more live webinars for 2018! Register now, or explore the On-Demand webinar library today!