September 5, 2018


In This Issue:

  • Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending to Remain Independent Agency
  • Two Courts Rule Crime Policies Cover Wire Fraud, Business Email Compromise
  • Bipartisan Push Begins in Senate to Expand Mortgage Access for Self-Employed Borrowers
  • Texas Ranks 3rd for International Home Sales in Latest Texas International Homebuyers Report

Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending to Remain Independent Agency

TLTA | Aug. 30, 2018
The Texas Sunset Commission reversed a staff recommendation that the Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending merge with the Texas Department of Banking. 
 
If the Texas Legislature upholds the Sunset Commission's decision when legislators convene in 2019, the Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending will remain a stand-alone agency for at least 12 years, when the agency will again be subject to Sunset review.
 
TLTA joined the Texas Mortgage Bankers Association, Texas Bankers Association, Independent Bankers Association of Texas and the Texas Association of Builders in opposition to the proposed consolidation.
 
Read TLTA's Letter to the Sunset Advisory Commission »


Two Courts Rule Crime Policies Cover Wire Fraud, Business Email Compromise

ALTA | Aug. 28, 2018
We all know the drill by now. A fraudster gains access to a real estate agent’s or consumer’s email account. They monitor the progress of a transaction. At an opportune time, they spoof a party's email and contact the title or escrow company sending false wiring instructions. This subterfuge induces the company to wire the transaction proceeds or agent commission to the fraudster.

By the time the scam is discovered, the money is long gone and the title company’s only hope is its insurance. Will this wire transfer fraud or business email compromise (BEC) attack be covered? The answer will depend on what type of policy they purchased and their location.

Coverage for spoofing under a crime policy has been a hot issue in courts this summer. Recently, two federal circuit courts found coverage under a crime policy’s computer fraud provision for losses from a spoofing attack. This contrasts a series of past cases that limited coverage under these clauses to unauthorized intrusions in the policyholder’s systems. See Universal Am. Corp. v. Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., 25 N.Y.3d 675, 679 (N.Y. Ct. App. 2015); Pestmaster Servs., Inc. v. Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. of Am., 656 F. App’x 332 (9th Cir. 2016).
 
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Bipartisan Push Begins in Senate to Expand Mortgage Access for Self-Employed Borrowers

HousingWire | Aug. 28, 2018
Ever since the Qualified Mortgage rule went into effect a few years ago, borrowers who don’t have a traditional source of income have had a hard time getting a mortgage.
 
Well, a bipartisan push is underway in the Senate that could change that.
 
Late Tuesday, Sens. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, and Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota, announced they are introducing legislation designed to make it easier for self-employed borrowers to get a mortgage.
 
According to Warner’s office, the “Self-Employed Mortgage Access Act” would help creditworthy borrowers with non-traditional forms of income qualify for a mortgage by allowing lenders to verify a borrower’s income using additional forms of documentation other than the W-2.
  
Read More »


Texas Ranks 3rd for International Home Sales in Latest Texas International Homebuyers Report

Texas Association of Realtors | Aug. 13, 2018
The Texas economy got a $10.89 billion boost from international homebuyers between April 2017 and March 2018, according to the Texas International Homebuyers Report released by the Texas Association of REALTORS®.

Texas accounted for 24,012 (9%) of 266,800 homes purchased by international buyers nationwide between April 2017 and March 2018, ranking third behind Florida and California, respectively, for international sales.

“International home sales activity continues to be one of the strongest sectors in Texas real estate, spurring strong growth in the Texas economy,” said Kaki Lybbert, chairman of the Texas Association of REALTORS®. “Despite the slight drop in international homebuyers compared to last year’s reporting period, Texas still remains an international hub and top destination for people from across the world to live, work, and conduct business.”
 
Read More »

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