February 21, 2018

TDI Proposes Rule Amendments to Basic Manual

TDI | Feb. 16, 2018
As reported in TLTA Breaking News earlier this week, on Friday, Feb. 16, the Texas Department of Insurance announced it has proposed rule amendments to update, correct, and clarify rules and forms in the Basic Manual of Title Insurance. 
These are rule proposals submitted by TLTA in 2016 to address "housekeeping items" in the Basic Manual. The goal of this round of rule proposals was to avoid substantive or potentially controversial changes and instead focus on a large volume of needed technical corrections. This package of proposed rules is made up of 21 "agenda items."
Rather than conducting a rule hearing as it did in 2012, TDI is instead filing the proposed and adopted rules with the Secretary of State, which is the repository of official TDI rules. Those rules can be accessed directly from the Texas Register, Office of Secretary of State (when they are published). Written comments on the proposed rules must be received no later than 5 p.m. on April 2, 2018.
TLTA will be reviewing this published version of the rule proposals and providing comment before the April 2, 2018 deadline. If you have questions or comments, please submit them to Aaron Day at aaron@tlta.com or call at 512.810.8800.

See the Proposed Rule Amendments » 
Subscribe to TLTA's Basic Manual Service » 

TRID Improvement Act Approved by U.S. House

James E. Hyland, Esq. | The Pennsylvania Group and TLTA Federal Legislative Council | Feb. 19, 2018
Last Wednesday, by a vote of 271-145, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the “TRID Improvement Act,” H.R. 3978. The legislation would override current TRID disclosures that do not accurately reflect the discounted costs of a simultaneous issue of an owners and lenders title policy. The bill would amend RESPA and direct that the disclosed charges for any title insurance premium shall be equal to the amount charged for each policy, subject to any discounts as required by either state regulation or the title company rate filings. 

The bill was introduced last October by Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.). TLTA and ALTA have been working closely with his office to have it introduced and advanced through the House. The bill was reported out of Committee in November by a vote of 53 to 5, on a healthy bi-partisan basis. TLTA sent a letter in support of the bill in advance of the Committee action. Our letter noted TLTA’s efforts to clarify the true cost of title insurance by working with the Texas Department of Insurance. Rather than clarifying settlement costs, the TRID rule increased consumer confusion and added to the paperwork burden when it came to simultaneous issue. The bill had the support of Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Dallas) and Committee member Rep. Roger Williams (R-Austin). It also had the support from Democrat Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-McAllen), a member of the House Financial Services Committee as well.

The legislation may have had even greater support in the full House, but for a procedural maneuver that added a number of unrelated bills to this one, causing many Democrats to oppose it due to process issues. The bill now goes to the Senate. Our industry will have to work to see if we can pass a free-standing TRID bill in the Senate. Other legislation to provide non-controversial regulatory relief from Dodd-Frank, S. 2155, is poised to move through the Senate at some point in the near future, and this remains a possible vehicle to advance the legislation.        

CFPB News: Democrats Call Out Mulvaney’s Reported Changes to CFPB Fair Lending Enforcement

HousingWire | Feb. 16, 2018
A group of more than 50 Congressional Democrats are questioning the motivation of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Acting Director Mick Mulvaney’s reported decision to strip the agency’s Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity of its enforcement powers.

Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported that Mulvaney plans to bring the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity directly under his own supervision and remove the office’s enforcement authority.
In the wake of the report, fair housing advocates called out the move, suggesting that Mulvaney was taking “yet another step” to dismantle the CFPB.
Now, more than 50 Democrats, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Robert Menendez, D-N.J.; and Kamala Harris, D-Calif.; along with Reps. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.; and Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, want to know what exactly Mulvaney is planning to do when it comes to fair lending.

Read More »

CFPB News: Trump Administration's Latest Strike on CFPB – Budget Cuts

NPR | Feb. 18, 2018
The Trump administration is proposing to dramatically cut funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a move critics say is an ongoing assault on the 7-year-old agency.
The White House proposal would chop funding for the CFPB by about $150 million — or a quarter of its budget. Such cuts would mean "massive layoffs and disruptions," says Mike Calhoun, the president of the Center for Responsible Lending. That would "make it hard for it to do its job — a job that it's been doing incredibly well," he says.

But some Republicans think the bureau is too powerful and has been too aggressive in crafting new regulations and suing financial firms. And President Trump appointed one of the agency's harshest critics to be its interim director.
Read More »

Primary Elections: Make Sure Your Voice Is Heard

Early Voting Continues Through March 2
TLTA | Feb. 20, 2018
There comes a time when actions truly speak louder than words. If you love Texas, make a plan to vote early in Texas Primary Elections through March 2, and make sure that your family, friends and co-workers have the facts about why March Matters and who can vote:

What Are Primary Elections? 

Texas primaries are when voters from both parties select their candidates to run in the November general election up and down the ballot. That means that the candidates who win the March primaries will drive the issues for the November election – and the state’s policy priorities for the next four years.  

Who Can Vote in Primary Elections?

If you haven’t voted in a primary election in Texas, the process is similar to November’s general election. You must be registered to vote and show proper identification. 

What’s different is:

  • When you arrive at the polling location, you tell the polling volunteer which party’s primary – Republican or Democrat – in which you plan to participate for this election,
  • Sign a pledge that you won’t vote in another party’s primary during this election year, and then
  • Vote for that party’s candidates and proposals
That’s all there is to it. You don’t need to already be a “registered member” of a political party, like in some other states – Texans don’t register as Republicans or Democrats. 
You also don’t need a political party “ID card” to vote in a primary election. 
What's My District and Who Represents Me »
Who's Running in Texas »

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