March 29, 2017

TLTA Member Roland Love Testifies for Adverse Possession v. Co-Tenants Bill

On Monday, March 27, TLTA member Roland Love testified on SB 1249, which would allow for adverse possession against co-tenants.

“This bill arose out of a situation where we had natural disasters such as hurricanes like Katrina,” said Love during his testimony. “It's been patterned largely after bills that are laws that already exist in New York and Louisiana; however, it is more stringent.”
Added Love, "Typically there is one person who's taken care of the property for many years, even multiple generations paid the taxes, and yet they don't have the clear title to allow them to get financial aid to mortgage the property, to improve the property and otherwise deal with the property, and this bill addresses that situation. It's good for the economy, it's good for the taxpayer base and it's good for the families that have this property, and their families."

As TLTA reported on Feb. 1, our affirmative agenda for this legislative session includes seeking the introduction and passage of a bill that will provide a statutory means of adversely possessing real property against co-tenants. Currently, no such mechanism exists. The need for such a path was discovered when lower-income individuals and families could not obtain disaster relief assistance from the federal government because they could not prove up their property ownership.

TLTA will keep you posted on the status of this bill as it changes.

TLTA Adopts Positions on Several Bills

During a Board of Directors conference call on Monday, March 27, TLTA voted to adopt official positions on several bills.
Read the Full List of Positions and Bills Being Followed »

Federal News: TLTA and Partner Organizations Submit Letter on Like-Kind Exchanges

Texas Land Title Association | March 27, 2017
Along with the Texas Forestry Association, the South Texas Property Rights Association and Holt Agribusiness, TLTA submitted a letter to U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, asking the chairman to keep in mind IRS Section 1031 – also known as "like-kind exchanges" – when working on tax reform.
"These 'like-kind exchanges' allow and encourage reinvestment in the agricultural sector," the letter stated. "Texas farming and ranching operators work hard to maintain and grow their operations in the face of many challenges and removing a useful tool like IRS Section 1031 puts our economic future in jeopardy."
Read the Letter »

Texas Association of Realtors Includes Title Insurance in Their Legislative Priorities, Will Highlight During Realtor Day at the Texas Capitol

Texas Association of Realtors | March 25, 2017
The Texas Association of Realtors has included title insurance in their list of priorities for the 85th session of the Texas Legislature.
On page 24 of their list of legislative priorities, TAR states, "The Texas Association of Realtors supports the current title insurance consumer protections which ensure competitive rates and comprehensive coverages."
In addition, TLTA staff met with TAR’s legislative team last week and learned that out of their eight or so legislative priorities, they have chosen to promote protecting the current title insurance system as one of the top three issues their members will discuss with legislators during their Realtor Day at the Texas Capitol on Tuesday, April 4. Information about their position on title insurance will be included in their talking points and in the materials they leave behind at legislative offices.
TLTA is very grateful to TAR for their continued active and strong support on this important issue!
View the TAR Legislative Priorities for the 85th Texas Legislature »

Reminder: TLTA Website Going Offline on Monday, April 3 to Launch New and Improved Site

To continue providing you with an optimal online experience, the TLTA website will be down for a design refresh starting at 4 p.m. on Monday, April 3. You will not be able to access the site or any of its features during this time. We plan to have the website back online by Wednesday, April 5, though technical difficulties may delay the relaunch.
How this may affect you:
  • If you want to register for an event or educational program, we strongly suggest you do so before Monday to ensure your registration processes before the website goes offline.
  • If you want to take advantage of the Super Early registration rate for the Annual Conference and Business Meeting, register ASAP – that rate ends Monday, April 3!
  • If you subscribe to the Basic Manual, you will not be able to access the online version during this outage. However, you can download the sections you regularly use. To download or subscribe to the Basic Manual, visit TLTA's Basic Manual subscription service webpage.
  • If you want to access an On Demand webinar, you will NOT be able to do so during this outage. TLTA will send an email once the site is back online, and you should be able to view all On-Demand products at that time.
  • Once the site is down, if you'd like to register for a program or need information you would normally access online, please call TLTA at 512.472.6593.
Thanks for your understanding. We hope you enjoy using the new site!

CFPB News: CFPB Proposes Regulation Changes, Prepares to Review Major Mortgage Rules

The CFPB released a proposal to amend certain regulations in the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. The intent is to provide additional flexibility for mortgage lenders in the collection of consumer ethnicity and race information. The proposed amendments should provide greater clarity to lenders regarding their obligations under the law, and according to the CFPB will promote compliance with rules intended to ensure customers are treated fairly.

"This law is a key part of the government's commitment to root out discrimination," said CFPB director Richard Cordray. "This proposal will help industry comply with the law and help protect consumers against illegal discrimination."
Read "CFPB Proposes Regulation Changes" (The M Report) »

Meanwhile, January 2018 marks five years since the CFPB finalized the qualified mortgage rule, as well as other key mortgage regulations. The five-year anniversary means more than a landmark date of a major regulation, though.

Under Dodd-Frank, the CFPB must "use available evidence and data to assess all of its rules five years after they go into effect to ensure they are meeting the purposes and objectives of Dodd-Frank, and the specific goals of the subject rule," Pavitra Bacon stated in a blog on the CFPB Monitor.

Read "CFPB Preps to Review Major Mortgage Rules" (HousingWire) »

Dodd-Frank News: Behind the Scenes, Bank Lobbyists Temper Expectations for Dodd-Frank Overhaul

Reuters | March 22, 2017
Bank lobbyists who opened the Trump era with great expectations for sweeping regulatory reform are privately striking an increasingly dismal tone as hopes for a quick and thorough rewrite of Dodd-Frank legislation dim. Lobbyists say they are facing the reality that bank deregulation legislation will have to wait in line behind other bigger priorities such as healthcare reform and taxes.

"It's so disheartening," said one financial industry representative. “I was excited for this year, and I’m not anymore.”

Read More »

GSE News: Pence Aide Says ‘Principles’ for GSE Reform Likely Soon; FHFA's Plans Delayed; New Option for Buyers Without Credit Score

Overhauling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is a financial regulation priority for the Trump administration, Mike Pence’s chief economist said Tuesday, March 21, adding that “a set of principles” will likely emerge in the coming months.
Mark Calabria told participants at the American Bankers Association Government Relations Summit in Washington that the administration is examining mortgage finance policy to “try to figure out, really, what should the best approach be?”

Read "Pence Aide Says ‘Principles’ for GSE Reform Likely in Coming Months" (Morning Consult) »

In related news, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced on Thursday, March 23, that Release 2 for its Single Security Initiative and Common Securitization Platform for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will come in mid-2019. Release 2, the announcement stated, will allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to use the CSP to issue a single, common security to be called the uniform mortgage-backed security, or UMBS. FHFA had planned Release 2 for 2018, saying it needs more time to develop the programs fully.

Read "FHFA’s Plans for Fannie and Freddie Delayed Until 2019" (The M Report) »
In addition, Freddie Mac expanded homeownership opportunities and access to credit Thursday for many Americans who do not have credit scores. The mortgage giant automated the assessment of borrowers without credit scores if they have payment references, including records showing timely housing payments. Previously, lenders could manually underwrite mortgage loans to borrowers without credit scores.
Read "Freddie Mac Creates Automated Option for Homebuyers Without Credit Score" (HousingWire) »

TLTA is scheduling several live webinars for spring 2017. Register now, or reserve your On-Demand version today!