September 27, 2017

Gov. Abbott Appoints Commissioner of Insurance, Selects New Senior Staff Members

Office of the Governor | September 2017
Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed Kent Sullivan as Commissioner of Insurance for a term set to expire Feb. 1, 2019.
"We welcome Kent Sullivan as the new Commissioner and look forward to working with him and his staff at the Texas Department of Insurance," said Leslie Midgley, CAE, Executive Vice President and CEO of the Texas Land Title Association.
Kent Sullivan of Austin is a partner at Jackson Walker. He previously served as a justice on the Fourteenth Court of Appeals, first assistant attorney general for the Texas Office of the Attorney General and a state district court judge.

Read the Press Release About the New Commissioner of Insurance »
In addition, the governor recently announced changes to his senior staff. The governor’s longtime Chief of Staff, Daniel Hodge, will be transitioning to the private sector and will be replaced by Luis Saenz, who prior to his most recent position as the Founder of Saenz Public Affairs, served as Gov. Abbott’s Appointments Director. Gov. Abbott also announced the promotion and hiring of several new members of his administration.
Read the Press Release About Office of the Governor Staff Changes »

Reminder: TRID Allows for Partial Exemption for Housing Assistance Loans; CFPB Compiles List of Top TRID Mistakes 

American Land Title Association | September 2017
As the Texas coast begins the recovery and rebuilding process after Hurricane Harvey, TLTA wants to make sure all members know that TRID allows for a partial exemption from the disclosure requirements on loans that are amortizing, forgivable and including fees that cannot exceed 1 percent of the principal of the loan.
Read "TRID Allows for Partial Exemption for Housing Assistance Loans" (ALTA) »
In addition, ALTA has compiled the CFPB's recent list of the top eight TRID mistakes that are being made.
Read "CFPB Compiles List of Top TRID Gaffes" (ALTA) »

GSE News: ALTA Joins Letter Urging for Continued Focus on GSE Reform

American Land Title Association | Sept. 21, 2017
ALTA joined 14 other groups in a letter urging the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Federal Housing Finance Agency to continue working with Congress to end conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac through comprehensive, legislative reforms.

The letter, which was sent to U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and FHFA Director Mel Watt, says that key structural changes must be implemented by Congress before a decision can be made regarding the government sponsored entities and capital retention.

Read More »
Read "Mortgage and Banking Groups Express Concern Over Efforts to Derail an Overhaul of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac" (The Hill) »

More Resources Added, Including Cleanup/Mold Tips and Help for Texas Homeowners Events

We are continuing to update the TLTA Disaster Relief Resources web page as we receive information. Resources that have been added this week include:
  • Information about getting help in person at the Hope for Texas Homeowners free event in Humble (Sept. 26-28) and Houston (Oct. 3-5.). The flyer is also available in Chinese and Vietnamese. Feel free to distribute this information to your customers and friends. Volunteers for the event are also needed.
  • The Home Recovery Information section has been broken down into Insurance and Mortgages, Cleanup, Housing and Other. The Cleanup section now includes links about mold removal.
In addition, there are still several ways you can assist those in the TLTA title insurance family whose lives have been devastated by this storm. We encourage you to look through the list and help those in need if you can.

Digital Lending News: Digital Lending Dramatically Cuts Down Closing Times

The M Report | Sept. 21, 2017
In a recent sampling of 10,000 purchase loans from LendingTree, the closing times on mortgages saw a sharp decrease thanks to more digital lending; approximately 74 percent on average from May 2016 to May 2017. According to the report, the average closing still takes roughly 72 days, but this rate is influenced by several other buying factors as well as digital integrations. Dallas ranks at 57.6 days.

Read More »

TLTA is scheduling more live webinars for summer 2017. Register now, or explore the On-Demand webinar library today!