Dear TLTA members, 
 
I am honored to present the following update on our association. 
 
The Texas Legislature’s special session that Gov. Abbott called on July 18 ran its course and concluded on Aug. 15. Through the dedicated efforts of our lobby team, volunteers and committee members who once again had to review and analyze the bills that were generated by this special session, not a single bill was filed that negatively affected our industry. However, 2019 will be here before we know it, and we will once again be knee-deep in the legislative process and defending the vital work that we do as title insurance professionals.  
 
The message we have already begun to deliver at our town hall meetings is that our title industry is vital to the growth and stability of the real estate markets in Texas. We must all be able to deliver a clear and concise message of the benefits of title insurance. TLTA's Texas Title Insurance Works Toolbox has eight marketing pieces that help define and explain our industry. These tools cover:
  • The basics of title insurance
  • The impact of changing our current system of regulation
  • A chart that shows our rates have declined over the past two decades
  • A list of frequently asked questions
  • An explanation of our refinance discount
  • A chart on price comparison with other states and one on Texas' lower prices
  • A comparison of our claims and losses
Armed with this information, we can and must tell our story.  
 
At the town hall meetings we have already conducted, TLTA Executive Vice President and CEO Leslie Midgley, CAE has given a summary of our association activities and a brief federal issues update. TLTA Director of Government Affairs and Counsel Aaron Day has recapped the legislative activities and what to expect as we face another re-regulation challenge in 2019. Finally, we highlight our amazing TLTAPAC efforts and our goals for 2018. It is a full working lunch by the time we cover all the materials. We look forward to seeing you at one of these events if you can attend and delivering a program that gives you the information and tools necessary for you to proudly explain the benefits of title insurance.
 
As your TLTA president, I attended the ALTA ONE conference this year. One of the primary subjects of discussion during the conference was cyber security and fraud prevention. I am proud to announce that TLTA has just created a Cyber Fraud Resources web page with links to flyers, handouts, a video and more to help you prevent cyber fraud at your company – and information on what to do if you have already been victimized. In addition, TLTA’s newly created Cyber Security Task Force is actively engaged in creating recommended practices to prevent fraud. They have met with related industry members to work together to combat this issue. Look for information in future issues of Dateline Austin. Lastly, TLTA will hold an important pre-Institute program on Wednesday, Dec. 6, titled Cyber Crime Prevention Update — Scams, Schemes and Your Security. Please attend if you can.
 
Please contact me or any of the TLTA staff if you have questions or concerns about our industry. I look forward to seeing you at the nearest town hall meeting this fall. 

Sincerely,
J. Christopher Phillips
President
Texas Land Title Association