Mar. 8, 2017

Bill Filing Deadline Friday, March 10

The deadline for filing bills for the 85th Session of the Texas Legislature is this Friday, March 10. TLTA is monitoring this very closely to see what bills of interest or concern are filed this week, including any possible additional proposals regarding our regulatory system.  We will release news about any relevant bills once they are filed.

Updated: Bills TLTA Is Following This Session
The number of bills TLTA is actively tracking has increased to 57. Check out the new updated list. The new bills and topics are in italics.
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Home Equity Reform Constitutional Amendment Filed

(Reprinted with permission from the Texas Mortgage Bankers Association)
On Tuesday, House Chairman Tan Parker filed HJR 99, the Constitutional Amendment that amends the Home Equity provisions of the Constitution. It is expected that the Senate will file a companion joint resolution sometime today or tomorrow.

HJR 99 reflects extensive work over the last year by Texas Mortgage Bankers Association, Texas Bankers Association, Independent Bankers Association of Texas, the Texas Association of Realtors and the two credit union trade associations to make some common-sense reforms to home equity lending in Texas.  
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Judicial Update: Case Could Change How Chain of Title Searches Are Run

Texas Land Title Association | March 8, 2017
TLTA recently filed an amicus letter to the Texas Supreme Court in the matter of Austin v. Coface Seguro Day Credito Mexico, S.A. de C.V., on an issue that could impact how searches for chain of title are run.

This case is a request for a review of a decision by the Houston Court of Appeals that an abstract of judgment indexed as Mirandas, Rafael Augusto Martin Ojeda gave notice of a lien against real property titled by recorded deed under Rafael Ojeda. There was a released lis pendens in the Ojeda chain of title that identified Rafael Ojeda as also known as Rafael Ojeda Miranda.

The primary question deals with the duty of a subsequent purchaser, lender or examiner to look beyond the record title holders' names and the index for abstracts of judgment. Under the Houston Court of Appeals decision, an examiner, consumer or lender would have to look at every document in the chain of title and then search for any abstract of judgment in the names possibly revealed. It could go so far as to create a duty to determine any aliases of the record title holder. At a minimum, this same situation arises in every case with name changes, double surnames, changes in maiden name to married name, etc.

TLTA offered this amicus letter at the recommendation of our Judiciary Committee, which regularly reviews court cases and weighs in on their potential impact to our industry. This letter is one of their recent actions taken. TLTA will keep members informed on this issue as information becomes available.

Read the Full Text of the Letter »

Tax Reform: No Change to Mortgage Interest Deduction in Trump Tax Plan

Reuters | March 1, 2017
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on March 1 the Trump administration's tax reform plan will not change the deductibility of mortgage interest and charitable contributions.
The mortgage interest deduction is already capped at loans up to $1 million if you are married and filing income taxes jointly, and at $500,000 if you file separately.
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Dodd-Frank Reform: Hensarling Says Reform Is a Top Priority This Year, But Others Say It May Have to Wait

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) is at the forefront of reforming Dodd-Frank, spearheading one of the most prominent options to change the controversial act.
Read "Hensarling: Dodd-Frank Reform Is a This-Year Priority" (HousingWire) »
Now, though, the drive to wipe out or scale back Dodd-Frank has lost momentum. Trump issued an executive order on Feb. 3 for Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to review the law, but the president made no mention of it in his priority-setting speech to Congress on Feb. 28. As with the Republican vow to repeal Obamacare, the sticking point may be finding a replacement for the law on the books.
Read "Dismantling Dodd-Frank May Have to Wait" (Bloomberg Businessweek) »

All-Cash Sales Falling Nationwide; Texas at 29 Percent

Realtor Mag | March 1, 2017
All-cash sales are on the decline, accounting for 32.4 percent of total home sales in November 2016, down 4.5 percentage points year over year, according to CoreLogic's most recent housing data. That's a significant drop from January 2011, when cash sales were at their peak: a whopping 46.6 percent of all home sales nationally. CoreLogic experts predict cash sales will fall to a historical norm of about 25 percent by mid-2017.
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U.S. Flips Sides, Supports PHH in Case Against CFPB

HousingWire | March 6, 2017
The United States revealed last Friday that it now supports PHH in its landmark case against the CFPB, switching sides from its original stance back in December.
Back in February, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in favor of the CFPB and granted a rehearing of the case en banc, meaning that it would allow the entire court to hear the case, rather than the three judges who ruled on the case in October.
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Non-Banks Are Still Top Lenders...For Now

The M Report | March 3, 2017
By the end of 2016, six of the nation’s top 10 lenders were non-banks, while banks' contribution to new mortgage loans fell to 21 percent, according to The Washington Post. Meg Burns, managing director of the Collingwood Group told the paper, “The withdrawal of banks from the mortgage business is the result of the fundamental shift in regulations that took place in response to the housing crisis.”
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TLTA is scheduling several live webinars for spring 2017. Register now, or reserve your On-Demand version today!

  • Decedents' Estates (Thursday, March 16)
  • The Long and Short of It (Wednesday, March 22)
  • Foreclosures (Thursday, April 20)