Nov. 15, 2017

TDI Proposes 2018 Maintenance Fees, Assessments for Underwriters

Texas Department of Insurance | Nov. 10, 2017
The Texas Department of Insurance has published proposed maintenance fees and assessments for underwriters for 2018. Both proposals are available on the TDI website:
  • Section 1.414 outlines the proposed 2018 maintenance taxes and fees insurers pay on premiums.
  • Section 7.1001 outlines the proposed 2018 assessments to cover the expenses to examine domestic and foreign insurance companies and self-insurance groups providing workers’ compensation insurance.
To comment: Written comments on these proposals are due by 5 p.m. Central time, December 11, 2017. 
  • Send one copy by email to or by mail to the Texas Department of Insurance, Office of the Chief Clerk, Mail Code 113-2A, P.O. Box 149104, Austin, Texas 78714-9104. 
  • Send a second copy to Joe Meyer, assistant chief financial officer at or Mail Code 108-3A, P.O. Box 149104, Austin, Texas 78714-9104.
Read the Assessment of Maintenance Taxes and Fees »

Tax Reform News: Housing Industry Gives Mixed Response to Senate Tax Reform Bill

HousingWire | Nov. 10, 2017
On Thursday, Nov. 9, the Senate released its tax reform bill, which since received a mixed response from the housing industry.

One of the biggest changes from the House tax reform bill is that the Senate’s version would leave the mortgage interest deduction intact at its current cap of $1 million. The House tax reform bill would cut the MID in half to a cap of $500,000.

But despite leaving the MID intact, the Senate’s bill has still received mixed reactions from the housing industry. One expert said this is hardly a relief as the Senate’s bill would still double the current standard tax deduction.
Read More »
Read "House Republicans Unveil Tax Reform Package" From Last Week's Dateline Austin »

E-Mortgage News: The Future Is Bright for E-mortgages: An Overview of Relevant Laws and Requirements

American Land Title Association | Nov. 9, 2017
The industry is working to streamline the overall mortgage process by encouraging the use of electronic documents. Fortunately, there are U.S. federal and state laws that permit lenders to originate e-mortgages in any state and deliver them to investors, including Freddie Mac, for purchase. And with the legal framework in place, interest in e-mortgages is picking up speed.

While barriers to adoption remain, powerful forces are driving interest in e-mortgages, not the least of which is borrower demand for faster, better and more reliable service. No fewer than 15 financial institutions have begun implementing e-mortgage process tests or committing to the e-mortgage business outright over the past year. Eight other financial institutions are ready to provide warehouse financing for e-notes.

With increasing interest from lenders, now is the time for title companies to talk to lender partners to get ready to implement electronic closings.
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RESPA News: CFPB Still Pushes Zillow to Settle RESPA Claims; Real Estate Agent Business Remains Steady

HousingWire | Nov. 8, 2017
After first revealing the news earlier this year, Zillow still hasn’t come to an agreement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau over possible violations of RESPA.

During the company’s third-quarter earnings call, it said it continues to have ongoing discussion with the bureau related to a possible settlement concerning their investigation.

However, Kathleen Philips, Zillow chief financial officer, said in her prepared remarks that they have not yet come to a mutually agreeable settlement.

And turns out, it's not significantly impacting business.
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Cyber Security News: Five Ways to Improve Your Small Business Cybersecurity 

Forbes | Nov. 8, 2017
Do you think your small business is at risk of being hacked? An overwhelming 87 percent of small business owners don’t think so. But, your business might be at risk more than you realize. About half of small businesses experience a cyber attack.
Read More »
Note: Cyber Crime Prevention Update – Scams, Schemes and Your Security will take place 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!

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