March 1, 2017

TLTA Begins Process of Developing Legislative Positions

As many bills are still in the process of developing, TLTA has not yet taken an official position on most of the bills we are monitoring. However, there are two items on which we have taken a specific position.
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Powers of Attorney: Should Title Companies Be Required to Accept Them?

A significant discussion currently taking place involves the question of whether financial institutions and title companies should be required to accept a durable power of attorney. These bills include HB 1974, by Sen. John Wray and SB 926, by Sen. Eddie Rodriguez.
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FinCEN Renews Order for Bexar County

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network | Feb. 23, 2017

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Geographic Targeting Order (GTO) first issued in July 2016 has been renewed for 180 days, extending it to Aug. 22, 2017. This order requires title insurers and their agents to identify the names of individuals involved in corporations, LLCs and other legal entities that make all-cash purchases for high-end residential real estate in Bexar County. The threshold in Bexar County is cash deals purchased by corporate entities above $500,000.
View the FinCEN Press Release »
Read TLTA's Breaking News Alert »
View TLTA's FinCEN Page »

TLTA Monitoring Federal Tax Reform Proposals to Weigh Impact on Real Estate

Texas Land Title Association | March 1, 2017

The Trump administration has stated that one of its early priorities is comprehensive tax reform. The TLTA staff and federal issues committee are closely monitoring this process to determine if there will be any impact to the real estate industry from the various proposals being discussed. Two specific items we are watching that have either been included or discussed as potential changes are the elimination of the mortgage interest deduction and the repeal of 1031 exchanges. Below is an article that might be of interest, and stay tuned for regular coverage as this initiative continues to unfold.  
Read Bloomberg Article "Next Big Tax Fight Could Pit Wall Street Against Private Equity" »

Texas Association of Business Names New CEO

Texas Association of Business | Feb. 21, 2017

Following an extensive search process, the Texas Association of Business executive committee has appointed Jeff Moseley to lead the organization, which serves as the state chamber of commerce. The TAB advocates for business and chambers of commerce across Texas.
Moseley was most recently with Texas Central Partners, where he served as State Vice President of Government Affairs. Texas Central Partners is a private company developing a new high-speed rail system between Dallas and Houston.
Read the Press Release »

Preemptive Defense Mounts for Cordray

Washington Post | Feb. 24, 2017

In a preemptive move, Democrats, consumer groups and civil rights leaders have been mobilizing to defend the head of the federal consumer watchdog agency should Trump try to fire him.
Republicans have introduced legislation that would change the CFPB’s leadership structure, replacing the one-person directorship with a five-person commission, which could effectively slow or stymie the agency’s aggressive consumer protection actions in an effort to get a consensus.
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Hensarling and 33 Republicans Issue Warning to Feds

The M Report | Feb. 24, 2017

In a letter sent to Fed Chair Janet Yellen, House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling and 33 other Republican lawmakers said they were willing to use the Congressional Review Act to overturn Fed regulations if the central bank did not comply with their demands to pause rulemaking.
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Mnuchin's Zeal for Fannie-Freddie Overhaul Tested by Ruling

Bloomberg Politics | Feb. 23, 2017

A federal appeals court dealt a major blow to hedge funds that own Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shares Tuesday, ruling that investors weren’t entitled to billions of dollars of profits. The decision clears an obstacle to addressing an issue that has vexed policy makers for almost a decade: What to do with the government-controlled companies that guarantee 43 percent of U.S. mortgages.
Yet some housing industry groups and analysts said they’re skeptical anything will happen quickly because Republican lawmakers have bigger priorities, such as repealing Obamacare and overhauling the tax code. And while most everyone agrees something must be done about Fannie and Freddie, there isn’t much consensus over how to proceed.
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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)