August 23, 2017

Special Session Wrap-Up

On Tuesday, Aug. 15, the special session of the Texas legislature adjourned sine die. While the session accomplished some of the 20 items on Gov. Greg Abbott’s agenda, several more were left undone.

None of the items passed during the special session appear to directly impact the title insurance industry. However, some notable issues passed.
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FinCEN Renews Order for Bexar County, Extends Regulations

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network | Aug. 22, 2017
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Geographic Targeting Order (GTO) first issued in July 2016 and renewed in February 2017 has been renewed again for 180 days. It will go into effect Sept. 22, 2017, and end on March 20, 2018. 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.
Three changes have been made to this GTO:
  • Wire transfers: Due to the new Russia sanctions law, the new GTO will cover transactions without a bank loan where all or a portion of the purchase price is paid in currency, check or funds transfer.
  • New jurisdiction: The city and county of Honolulu, Hawaii have been added.
  • New effective date: This GTO will take effect Sept. 22, 2017, and will stay effective for the following six months.
View the FinCEN Press Release »
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View TLTA's FinCEN Page »

Cyber Fraud News: Who Hacked My Cyber Insurance Policy?

American Land Title Association | Aug. 17, 2017
Hardly a day goes by without news of some new cyber attack. Less reported — but equally concerning — are coverage denials under cyber-insurance policies for losses that were plainly caused by computer hackers. Here are some examples, and the lessons that can be learned from them.
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eClosing News: How Long Until eClosings Are Standard Practice for Mortgages?

HousingWire | Aug. 17, 2017
The digital world is slowly creeping its way into mortgages, as more lenders start to unveil digital mortgage applications and boast fully online digital mortgages.

There is one caveat, however, that’s making the “fully online digital mortgage” look not as digital as marketed: the closing process.
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Closing News: Closing Times Increase, But Barely

The M Report | Aug. 15, 2017
The closing time for all loan types ticked up a tad in June to 43 days, up from 42 days the month before, according to Ellie Mae’s June 2017 Origination Insight Report. The time to close a refinance stayed steady at 41 days, while the time to close a purchase loan advanced to 43 days, up from 42 days in May. The average 30-year rate for all loans deflated to 4.27 in June from 4.33 in May.
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