Oct. 25, 2017

Speaker Joe Straus, Rep. Byron Cook Say They Will Not Seek Re-ElectionDI Issues Call for Agent Statistical Data

Texas Tribune | Oct. 25, 2017
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, a San Antonio Republican, announced Wednesday he will not run for re-election.

"I believe that in a representative democracy, those who serve in public office should do so for a time, not for a lifetime. And so I want you to know that my family and I have decided that I will not run for re-election next year," Straus said in a campaign email. "My time as a State Representative and as Speaker will end at the conclusion of my current term."
Minutes after the announcement, one of Straus' top lieutenants revealed that he also won't be returning to the Capitol. Rep. Byron Cook (R-Corsicana), who is chairman of the House State Affairs Committee, said in a statement first reported by Quorum Report that he "will pursue other opportunities to serve our great state."
Read More »

Vote for TLTA-Supported Proposition 2 to Make Home Equity Loans More Accessible for Texans

TLTA joins several industry groups in supporting Proposition 2 and encouraging members to vote in favor of it.
This amendment to the Texas Constitution would:
  • Lower the cap on fees from 3 to 2 percent of the loan principal, and ensure that title insurance fees are not counted in that 2 percent
  • Make it easier for homeowners to get lines of credit on their property
  • Permit loans to be made against agricultural property
  • Allow additional advances on home equity lines of credit, as long as the principal is below 80 percent (rather than the current threshold of 50 percent)
  • Let homeowners refinance a home equity loan as a non-home equity loan under certain conditions
  • Expand the list of approved lenders
We hope you will support these measures to improve access to home equity loans for all Texas homeowners and vote for Prop 2!
Texas Association of Realtors has created online resources, including FAQs and videos, that are available at TexansForProp2.com.
Note: Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 7, while early voting started on Monday, Oct. 23. Learn about early voting at VoteTexas.gov, or find early voting locations at your county clerk's website.

Final Institute Brochure and Schedule Now Available

The full brochure and schedule for the 2017 Texas Land Title Institute are now available online.

Not sure if you should attend the Institute this year? Read these testimonials from past attendees:
  • "Don't change a thing! This is the best event I attend, year after year." 
  • "Institute continues to be an excellent program. I've attended for something like 20 years straight and expect to continue doing so until I'm unable to!" 
In addition, this year's Institute will have two exclusive live pre-Institute programs:
  • Cyber Crime Prevention Update — Scams, Schemes and Your Security. Learn more and register.
  • Title Insurance and Doc Prep Basics: An Introduction to Closing the Deal. Learn more and register.
Lastly, the Institute hotel group rate cutoff is Nov. 14, but is not guaranteed as rooms are going fast and the hotel may sell out. Register and book your hotel room today!

Texas to Receive Nearly $58 Million in Federal Housing Funds

Washington Post | Oct. 20, 2017
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is allocating to Texas $57.8 million in additional funds for clearing housing from areas flooded by Hurricane Harvey. 
Neal Rackleff is HUD’s assistant secretary for community planning and development. He said in a conference call Friday that the funds could be used to help buy out homeowners living in 100-year flood zones and help others rebuild.
Read More »

Technology News: Bitcoin Is Finally Buying Into U.S. Real Estate

CNBC | Oct. 16, 2017
Bitcoin is already in retail and restaurants – so it was only a matter of time before the cryptocurrency took on real estate.
That time is now. Bitcoin is slowly making its way into closings on everything from Lake Tahoe land in California to Manhattan condos to single-family homes in the heart of Texas.
Read More »

Fraud News: How to Avoid Losing Your Home Settlement Funds in a Wire Fraud; Stop Scammers From Stealing Your Down Payment

This Q&A follows a homebuyer who lost $250,000 in wire fraud, what went wrong and what can be done to prevent situations like this from happening in the future.
Read "How to Avoid Losing Your Home Settlement Funds in a Wire Fraud" (Washington Post) »
This story describes a scam targeting home buyers: down payment wire fraud. Hackers send bogus emails, telling buyers where to wire the down payment money. The stolen money disappears. The home buyer ends up with an empty bank account and a broken heart. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been stolen this way. But you can avoid that fate by making one phone call.
Read "Stop Scammers From Stealing Your Down Payment" (Nerd Wallet) »
Note: Don't miss TLTA's Cyber Crime Prevention Update – Scams, Schemes and Your Security on Wednesday, Dec. 6, the day before the Texas Land Title Institute in San Antonio. You'll hear about the newest schemes and scams, how to spot red flags, what kind of insurance you need and what you can do to protect your company. You'll walk away with detailed plans, timelines and checklists designed to help you. Learn more and register today!

CFPB News: CFPB Releases Updated Executive Summary and Small Entity Compliance Guide

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau | Oct. 19, 2017
To support implementation of the Interim Final Rule for Mortgage Servicing issued on Oct. 4, 2017, the CFPB has updated the Executive Summary of the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Rule and Version 3.0 of the Small Entity Compliance Guide.

View the Executive Summary »
View the Small Entity Compliance Guide »
View All CFPB Mortgage Servicing Materials »

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