February 28, 2018

TRID Improvement Act Passes House Again

Addresses Simultaneous Issue Disclosure 

James E. Hyland, Esq. | The Pennsylvania Group and TLTA Federal Legislative Council | Feb. 28, 2018
As we reported previously, last week the U.S. House of Representatives passed by a vote of 271-145 the “TRID Improvement Act,” H.R. 3978.
In a new development, the House took up the bill again this week, re-introduced as H.R. 5078. As we reported, the vote was closer last week than we would have hoped because a number of unrelated bills were added to the underlying TRID bill, causing many Democrats to oppose it due to process issues.

The free-standing TRID Reform bill (H.R. 5078) passed the House on Tuesday on a voice vote with wide bi-partisan support. With that, it becomes easier to position this for possible inclusion in a Senate regulatory relief bill, S. 2155. This bill may be considered in the Senate at some point in the near future, possibly in March, and this remains a vehicle to advance the legislation. Many in Washington speculate that the Senate bill may be the only Dodd-Frank bill to reach the President’s desk this session.

IRS News: IRS Requires Personal Information When Verifying Taxpayer Identity

ALTA | Feb. 7, 2018
On Jan. 3, the Internal Revenue Service instituted a new identity verification process requiring third parties calling on behalf of a taxpayer to verify their identity by providing personal information such as their Social Security Number and date of birth.

According to reports, the additional information is being requested to fight fraud and mitigate risk. The change came without warning and the IRS has not yet provided an update to the IRM on its website. It’s been reported the IRS plans to detail changes in the near future.

To eliminate multiple employees from submitting their personal information, some title companies have appointed a point person to call the IRS. ALTA and several state land title associations are considering submitting a letter to the IRS.
TLTA is assessing the impact this change is having on Texas agents. If you've encountered this new verification process and it's having an effect on your operations, please let us know by emailing Brandon Custer.

Realtors Release Cyber Fraud Flyer and Buyer Notice

Texas Association of Realtors | Feb. 23, 2018
In an effort to help buyers understand that wire fraud is a real threat to their real estate transactions, the Texas Association of Realtors has developed a flyer for Realtors to provide their customers as well as a wire fraud notice form for all parties to sign.
The flyer, Don't Let Scammers Steal Your Downpayment, outlines red flags customers should look for when considering wiring funds. The wire fraud warning form (which was developed with guidance from TLTA) includes this statement, "Notice: This brokerage will never use any electronic communications, such as email, text messages, or social media messages, to ask you to wire funds or provide personal information."
As a reminder, the online TLTA Cyber Fraud Resources page has a number of tools you can use with your customers and industry partners to help combat this insidious crime.
Get the TAR Flyer » 
See the TAR Form » 

Texas AG Opinion: Texas Constitution Prohibits U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Cash-Out Refinance Loan for Texas Veterans

Ken Paxton, Attorney General of Texas | Feb. 26, 2018
On Feb. 26, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an opinion concerning whether veterans may execute a cash-out refinance loan on their homestead property. The request for opinion by Rep. Roland Gutierrez, Chair of the Texas House Committee on Defense and Veterans' Affairs, sought clarification about whether Texas veterans could execute a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs cash-out refinance loan.
In the opinion, Paxton cites provisions of the Texas Constitution related to home equity lending and the creation of additional collateral. The opinion summary states, "Because of the guaranty by the federal government, which is additional collateral, Texas Constitution, article XVI. subsection 50(a)(6)(H) prohibits a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs cash-out loan."
Read the Opinion » 
Read the Request for Opinion » 

CFPB News: Gloves Off in CFPB Tug of War Between Mulvaney, Warren

National Mortgage News | Feb. 23, 2018
The war of words between acting Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Mick Mulvaney and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., the agency's architect, is escalating.

In a terse letter to Warren last week, released by the agency on Friday, Mulvaney rejected accusations that the bureau's retreat on payday lending curbs under his watch has to do with campaign donations received from the industry.

"I reject your insinuation — repeated three times in as many pages — that my actions as acting Director are based on considerations other than a careful examination of the law and facts particular to any matter," Mulvaney wrote, referring to an earlier letter from Warren to the agency's interim chief.

Primary Elections: Have You Voted Yet?

Early Voting Ends March 2
TLTA | Feb. 28, 2018
You know that your primary election vote matters in Texas, so if you haven't already voted, make a plan now to vote early between now and Friday, March 2. Don’t wait! 
Can I vote in the March Primary?
In Texas, you do not pre-register by party – everyone who is a registered voter can vote in the Primary election. Log in to the Texas Secretary of State’s website to confirm you are registered at your current address (don't worry, it's easy).
Can I choose which Primary I want to vote in?
Yes. At the polling location, you choose which party Primary (Republican or Democratic) you'd like to vote. 
Where can I vote early?
In the same way you check if you are registered, log in to the Texas Secretary of State’s website to find out where to early vote by clicking on the Republican Primary or Democratic Primary link on the right-hand side of the page to view your county's early voting polling locations and hours.
What's My District and Who Represents Me »
Who's Running in Texas »
Learn More About Candidates From the League of Women Voters »

TLTA is scheduling more live webinars for 2018! Register now, or explore the On-Demand webinar library today!