October 24, 2018


In This Issue:

  • More Than 689,613 Texans Have Already Voted in the Midterm Election
  • ALTA Asks Bureau to Use Sandbox to Test Disclosure of Title Fees
  • BCFP’s Agenda for Easing Lender Laws
  • Once Feared on Wall Street, Dodd-Frank’s Watchdog Is in Retreat
  • Enterprise Community the Latest Real Estate Player to Become VC Investor in Tech Startups

More Than 689,613 Texans Have Already Voted in the Midterm Election

Texas Tribune | Oct. 23, 2018
In the first day of early voting, 474,938 Texans cast in-person ballots and 214,675 cast mail-in ballots in the 30 counties where most registered voters in the state — 78 percent — live. That turnout equals 34.3 percent of the total votes cast in those counties during the entire two-week early voting period in the last midterm election in 2014. So far this year, 5.6 percent of the 12.3 million registered voters in those 30 counties have voted.
 
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Vote Early Oct. 22 - Nov. 2
Election Day Nov. 6

Where and When to Vote »
Texas Tribune's Voters Guide »

ALTA Asks Bureau to Use Sandbox to Test Disclosure of Title Fees

ALTA | Oct. 18, 2018
ALTA has requested that the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection allow lenders and title companies to test the disclosure of title insurance fees to consumers under its TILA-RESPA Integrated Mortgage Disclosure rule (TRID) under the bureau’s Trial Disclosure Program.

The Bureau’s new Office of Innovation proposed a Disclosure Sandbox through revisions to its existing policy to encourage trial disclosure programs. The Policy to Encourage Trial Disclosure Programs was established in 2013, but the bureau has not approved any trial disclosures. The Disclosure Sandbox carries out the bureau's authority under Section 1032(e), which allows it to deem a covered person conducting a trial disclosure program to follow or exempt from a requirement of a bureau rule or certain federal laws.

A Disclosure Sandbox may offer ALTA and its members the ability to test TRID disclosures that provide consumers accurate title insurance charges in actual transactions and provide the bureau the rationale for a permanent fix to TRID’s title insurance disclosures. The Disclosure Sandbox clarifies that applications may be submitted by a group, such as a trade association, on behalf of its members, and may propose a scaled or iterative approach to testing.

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BCFP’s Agenda for Easing Lender Laws

MReport | Oct. 19, 2018
The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection has released its regulatory agenda for Fall 2018 as per the Regulatory Flexibility Act. According to the agenda set forth by the Bureau, the majority of its attention in the coming months appears focused on the implementation of various amendments to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act). This is in accordance with the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (EGRRCPA) signed into law by President Trump in May 2018.
 
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Once Feared on Wall Street, Dodd-Frank’s Watchdog Is In Retreat

Bloomberg | Oct. 17, 2018
A key response to the 2008 financial crisis was setting up a super-group of regulators to protect the economy from another disastrous crash. But in the Trump era, flagging new dangers has taken a backseat to cutting constraints on business.

The latest blow came Wednesday when the Financial Stability Oversight Council said it no long considered Prudential Financial Inc. so big and complex that the insurer’s failure could trigger a panic.

Prudential was the last non-bank to carry the regulator’s dreaded systemic-risk label, which brings tough oversight and steep compliance costs. When Congress created FSOC through the Dodd-Frank Act, many on Capitol Hill and Wall Street expected it to impose the tag on a number of hedge funds, private-equity firms and insurers. Instead, the watchdog is retreating.

Since officials picked by President Donald Trump took the reins, the group has been more focused on making it easier for companies to escape the government’s grip than examining whether additional firms should be tapped. With such an agenda, it seems unlikely that any non-bank giants -- such as Berkshire Hathaway Inc. or BlackRock Inc. -- will be declared systemically important financial institutions anytime soon.
 
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Enterprise Community the Latest Real Estate Player to Become VC Investor in Tech Startups

Bis Now | Oct. 22, 2018
Billions of dollars have been poured into PropTech startups in recent years, and it has not just been traditional venture capital firms funding the booming sector. Legacy commercial real estate firms that spent decades focusing their investment on physical properties have begun launching venture funds to invest in technology companies, aiming to solve problems in their portfolio and bring in big returns. 

Investment in real estate technology companies grew by 92% in 2017 to nearly $12.6B, according to a report from research firm RE Tech. This has been driven in part by real estate giants like Brookfield, Blackstone and Simon Property Group investing billions into PropTech startups over the last few years.  
 
Most of those companies focus on commercial office and retail properties and invest in tech companies that solve problems in those sectors, but one of the nation's largest affordable housing developers is now getting into the space. Enterprise Community Partners Vice President of Innovation Matt Hoffman tells Bisnow the nonprofit plans to launch a fund next year to invest in early stage technology companies addressing housing affordability. 
 
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TLTA has scheduled a variety of live webinars for 2018! Register now, or explore our library of more than 80 On-Demand webinars and videos covering the title industry topics you need!