December 12, 2018


In This Issue:

  • Compliance Update: Stop Collecting GARC Fees After Dec. 31
  • Texas Office of Public Insurance Counsel Unveils Redesigned Website
  • TLTA, Other Trade Groups Ask U.S. Senators to Sign Letter to Incoming CFPB Director Kraninger Regarding TRID Fix
  • ‘I am very excited to be here’: Kraninger Signals New Tone Atop CFPB
  • White House Nominates Calabria as New FHFA Chief
  • TLTA's Grassroots Network Continues Sharing Industry's Story With State Lawmakers, Other Local Leaders
  • Cybersecurity Experts Warn of Massive Scam Targeting Mortgage Companies, Banks

Compliance Update: Stop Collecting GARC Fees After Dec. 31

TLTA | Dec. 11, 2018
The Guaranty Assessment Recoupment Charge (GARC) fee that you've been collecting throughout 2018 expires at the end of the year. After Dec. 31, you should stop collecting that fee (see below for clarification). Additionally, there currently is no Guaranty Fee in place. We anticipate that TTIGA will reinstate that fee early in 2019, but as of Jan. 1, neither fee should be charged. 

NOTE: TTIGA frequently gets this question about the GARC fee:  Do you have to collect GARC fees on transactions that close (papers signed) at the end of December, but that don’t fund until January 2019? Yes, the date you should go by is the date on which the transaction documents are signed, rather than the date of funding.

Learn more about GARC compliance and remittance instructions.

Again, while it is expected that title agents will be required to collect the Guaranty Fee in 2019, the Guaranty Association Board has not approved that fee. Therefore, there will be a gap early in 2019 during which neither the GARC nor the Guaranty fees will be collected.

If you have questions about remittance of GARC fees already collected, please see these FAQs, or contact the Texas Title Insurance Guaranty Association.
 

Texas Office of Public Insurance Counsel Unveils Redesigned Website

OPIC | Dec. 4, 2018
The Office of Public Insurance Counsel (OPIC) launched a newly redesigned website last week: www.opic.texas.gov   

OPIC redesigned the website with the goal of providing consumers with the information they need in plain language. Everyone at OPIC hopes this website makes it easier for consumers to learn about and shop for insurance. OPIC welcomes stakeholder feedback.
 

TLTA, Other Trade Groups Ask U.S. Senators to Sign Letter to Incoming CFPB Director Kraninger Regarding TRID Fix

TLTA | Dec. 11, 2018
The Texas Land Title Association joined a dozen trade groups—including the Mortgage Bankers Association, National Association of Home Builders and others—in a request sent to U.S. Senators asking them to co-sign a letter penned by Sen. Hoeven (R-ND) addressed to incoming Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Kathy Kraninger.
 
Hoeven's letter asks Kraninger to direct the CFPB to use its existing statutory authority to update the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) Rule. 
 
The straightforward TRID fix described in the letter would benefit consumers nationwide. 
 
Read the Letter »


‘I am very excited to be here’: Kraninger Signals New Tone Atop CFPB

National Mortgage News | Dec. 11, 2018
Kathy Kraninger's first public remarks Tuesday as the new head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau struck a more moderate tone than that of her predecessor, acting Director Mick Mulvaney, who at times questioned the role of the agency he was chosen to lead.

Kraninger, who had reported to Mulvaney at the Office of Management and Budget, said she planned to start a three-month listening tour with agency stakeholders, and will make a decision soon regarding attempts to change the agency's name.

"I am incredibly grateful to Mick Mulvaney, he was a fantastic boss for two years. I loved my time at OMB. But I can tell you that I am here to be the director of this bureau and I will be fully accountable for the decisions that I make going forward and they will be mine,” Kraninger said in a briefing with reporters one day after being sworn in to a five-year term.
 
Read More »


White House Nominates Calabria as New FHFA Chief

Mortgage News Daily | Dec. 12, 2018
Almost exactly 10 years after he helped pass the legislation that established the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Mark Anthony Calabria has been nominated by the White House to be its director. If his nomination is confirmed by the Senate, Calabria, currently the Chief Economist in the Office of the Vice President, will succeed Melvin Watt whose five-year term expires in January.

Calabria has a long history in housing and housing finance. He was a senior aide to the Senate Banking Committee in 2008, helping to draft the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA), which created the Federal Housing Finance Agency and was a Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development during the second Bush administration. He has also held positions at the Cato Institute, Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies, and both the National Associations of Home Builders and Realtors.
 
If confirmed, Calabria will lead the agency that serves as both regulator and conservator of the government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at a time when pressures will be mounting to end their 10 years in federal conservatorship. Bloomberg notes that the nominee could be a controversial pick as he has advocated for policies that would reduce the government's role in the housing market. 
 
Among his proposals is one that would move the GSEs into receivership, liquidating its assets and erasing its remaining stockholders, many of whom have been in the courts for years, fighting the process by which the government takes nearly all of the corporations' sizable profits. He has also called for abolishing the mortgage interest deduction for homeowners and there have been suggestions among industry insiders that he might lower the conforming loan limits. They were recently raised to $484,350 after FHFA's annual recalculation.
 
Read More »


TLTA's Grassroots Network Continues Sharing Industry's Story With State Lawmakers, Other Local Leaders

TLTA | Dec. 9, 2018
TLTA's engaged and growing network of grassroots advocates continue sharing our industry's story with state lawmakers and other local leaders who serve the communities in which title professionals live and do business.
 
TLTA's network of allies met last week with State Sen. Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville), State Rep. Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin), State. Rep. Greg Bonnen (R-Friendswood) and other public servants with whom our industry is pleased to partner in the name of community and economic development. 
 
 
Lufkin City Councilman Mark Hicks, State Rep. Trent Ashby, Hall Henderson of Fortis Title, State. Sen. Robert Nichols, Debbie Squyres of Community Title, Aimee Slusher of Skelton-Slusher-Barnhill-Watkins & Wells, PLLC, Claudia Cook of Community Title, Scott Skelton of Skelton-Slusher-Barnhill-Watkins & Wells, PLLC, and SBOE member Keven Ellis

 

 
State Rep. Greg Bonnen and Carolyn Sunseri of Texan Title


Cybersecurity Experts Warn of Massive Scam Targeting Mortgage Companies, Banks

Mortgage Professional America | Dec. 5, 2018
A Nigeria-based hacker group called “London Blue” has compiled a list of thousands of CFOs of businesses including top banks and mortgage lenders, and is trying to scam the executives into sending them company funds.

The hackers are employing a scam known as “business email compromise” (BEC), according to a CNN report. In that scam, attackers use email to pose as a company executive such as the CEO and request that money be transferred to an outside account. The FBI estimates that between 2013 and 2018, fraudsters using the email scam stole more than $12 billion from businesses worldwide.

The London Blue scam was detailed in a report by cybersecurity firm Agari, which investigated the hackers after coming under attack itself, CNN reported. Agari said that targets of the scam range from “small businesses to the largest multinational corporations.” More than half are in the United States.
 
Read More » 
TLTA's Cyber Fraud Resources »

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