May 10, 2017

First TLTA Affirmative Agenda Item on Governor’s Desk – Clarifies Lis Pendens Expungement

On Saturday, SB 1995 by Sen. Bryan Hughes (HB 4086 is the companion bill by Rep. John Wray) passed out of the House and is now on the Governor’s desk. SB 1995 has the honor of being among the first 90 bills to pass both chambers this session.
The bill clarifies the lis pendens expungement statute so it can be relied upon by title agents and insurers. The effort was the result of a TLTA Board of Directors' decision made just a few days before the bill filing deadline in response to a case being heard in the Texas Supreme Court and concern about its potential outcome. Sen. Hughes graciously agreed to file the bill on the deadline. Rep. Wray agreed to do the same, championing the Senate bill through the House process and helping to send it to the Governor over the weekend. TLTA is extremely grateful to both of these legislators for their responsiveness and leadership.
Read the Entire List of Bills TLTA Is Following »

Home Equity Constitutional Amendment Will Be on November Ballot

Both the Texas House and Senate have adopted SJR 60, a proposed constitutional amendment that would take effect Jan. 1, 2018 and would apply to a home equity loan made on or after the effective date and to an existing home equity loan that is refinanced on or after the effective date. 
The amendment would:
  • Lower the fee limit from three percent to two percent
  • Exclude three fees from the fee limit
  • Enable home equity loans to be used on homesteads designated for agricultural use
  • Allow a "seasoned" refinance of an equity loan to be a non-home equity loan
  • Change the "Notice Concerning Extensions of Credit" to include these changes
TLTA would like to thank the following organizations for supporting this piece of legislation:
  • Texas Association of Realtors
  • Texas Farm Bureau
  • Texas Bankers Association
  • Independent Bankers Association of Texas
  • Texas Mortgage Bankers Association
  • Texas Credit Union Association
Special thanks goes to the Texas Association of Realtors for putting together this one-pager on the legislation and letting TLTA share it.
Read the TAR One-Pager »
Follow SJR 60 »
Read the Senate Committee on Investments and Financial Services' Analysis of SJR 60 »
Read TMBA's Article on Companion Resolution HJR 99 »

Texas Delegation Attends the ALTA Advocacy Summit in D.C.

By Leslie Midgley, CAE
TLTA Executive Vice President and CEO
Last week, I had the honor of attending the annual ALTA Advocacy Summit in Washington, D.C., along with a group of TLTA members, including TLTA President James Dudley, President-Elect Chris Phillips, Board Member Dan Foster and Past Presidents Phyllis Mulder and Brian Pitman, ALTA Board Members Jack Rattikin and Patrick Beall, as well as Kyle Rank, Mary Thomas and Tara Smith. The Advocacy Summit is ALTA's version of our TLTA Day at the Capitol, but with a couple of days of educational programming and events added on top.

On Monday, I participated in a legislative and regulatory affairs meeting with title industry members from all across the country, and had the opportunity to make a short presentation about our ongoing legislative battle in Texas. Tuesday morning’s program included panel discussions with key congressmen and a special keynote address by HUD Secretary Ben Carson. Secretary Carson discussed the importance of homeownership and how it creates prosperous communities.

Highlighting the trip was a day and a half of visits on Capitol Hill to the offices of our Texas Congressional Delegation. It’s always exciting to be in the halls of Congress and have the opportunity to advocate on behalf of our industry. Our Texas team met with 13 congressmen and/or their staffs, including Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, and Congressmen Roger Williams, Kevin Brady, Michael Conaway, Jeb Hensarling, Pete Olson, Marc Veasey, Bill Flores, John Ratcliffe, Vicente Gonzalez, Will Hurd and Kenny Marchant.

Our discussions focused on three areas: tax reform, CFPB reform and GSE reform. On tax reform, our message was to preserve the important mortgage interest deduction that encourages home ownership and to not eliminate 1031 like-kind exchanges that promote real estate investment and help fuel the economy. Regarding CFPB, we shared our support of Rep. Hensarling’s proposed Financial CHOICE Act, and asked that the structure of the agency be changed to allow for more accountability to Congress as well as the establishment of a Small Business Advisory Board to provide us with a more formal way to communicate our concerns with the bureau. We additionally discussed the challenges of how title insurance rates are required to be disclosed on the CD and asked for their support of any legislation that would address fixing that problem. Finally, regarding Fannie and Freddie, our ask was simply that title insurance remain a standard on all loans, regardless of what structure those government sponsored entities take on in the future. We stressed the importance of the title search in keeping land records clean.

Again, your interests were well represented in our nation's capital by a group of TLTA members who participated in this important program. ALTA holds this Advocacy Summit every spring, and I would encourage any of you who are interested in serving as an advocate for your industry, to participate next year. It's a great way to make your voice heard in Washington, D.C. while networking with title industry colleagues from around the country.

Read the ALTA Article About the Summit »
View the Entire Facebook Album of Texas Delegation Photos »

2017 Poised to Be Landmark Year for E-Notarization Adoption

HousingWire | May 5, 2017
The prevalence of digital technology, the trend to reduce paperwork, the goal to save time and money and the need to increase security have converged in the growth in e-notarizations. And the momentum is growing. National organizations are increasingly endorsing e-notarizations and remote notarizations, and their uses are spreading.
Read More »
Note: TLTA will hold a session on e-notarization and other emerging technologies at the Annual Conference and Business Meeting. Read the brochure and register today!

GSE News: Mortgage Bankers Association Releases White Paper on GSE Reform

Mortgage Bankers Association | April 20, 2017
On Thursday, April 20, the Mortgage Bankers Association released a GSE reform white paper titled "Creating a Sustainable, More Vibrant Secondary Mortgage Market." The paper explains how MBA's approach could reduce the government support needed for GSE, giving more secondary-market lenders access to buyers and allowing the companies to compete on service, pricing and more.
In a letter to MBA board members, Rodrigo López, CMB, the 2017 Chairman, wrote, "MBA looks forward to working with Congress and the Administration to find a permanent, sustainable solution to the government’s role in housing finance that doesn’t repeat the mistakes that led to the crisis."
Read the White Paper »
Watch the CNBC Interview With David Stevens, MBA President »

Dodd-Frank News: Financial CHOICE Act Looms Over Dodd-Frank's Future

US News and World Report | May 4, 2017
House Republicans took a major step Thursday, May 4, toward dismantling President Barack Obama's controversial post-recession legislative package by advancing a bill designed to rewrite the rules introduced by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
The Financial CHOICE Act, championed by Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), passed through the House Financial Services Committee on a 34-26 vote after a lengthy series of debates along party lines.
Read More »

TLTA has scheduled several live webinars for spring and summer 2017. Register now, or reserve your On-Demand version today!