December 20, 2018

Editor’s Note: Happy holidays! Dateline Austin is signing off for the year on Thursday, Dec. 20, but we’ll be back the first week in January, bringing you the latest in title insurance news.



In This Issue:

  • TDI Issues Data Call for Underwriters, Releases Experience Report 2012-2016
  • Compliance Reminder: Stop Collecting GARC Fee After Dec. 31
  • DOJ Says CFPB Is Unconstitutional, But Urges U.S. Supreme Court to Deny Writ Since Case Is a "Poor Vehicle"
  • New Faces in Housing Regulation
  • TREC Inspector Committee Accepting Applications for Members

TDI Issues Data Call for Underwriters, Releases Experience Report 2012-2016

TLTA | Dec. 18, 2018
On Dec. 12, TDI issued a mandatory data call to all companies writing title insurance in Texas. The purpose of this data call—required under Insurance Code Section 2703.153—is to provide TDI with information needed to set premium rates. Title insurance companies subject to this data call must return their submission according to the instructions no later than March 15, 2019.
 
The data call is for the calendar year ended Dec. 31, 2017. If your company has no experience to report for 2017, you must submit a "none" report. Please see the instructions for additional information on submitting a "none" report. Additionally, if your company did not issue any policies or collect any premiums but still has expense to report, fill out the report as stated in the instructions.
 
For questions about this data call, please contact TDI's Shanna Sherwood.
 
Instructions, Forms and More »
 
The department also released the Underwriters Experience Report for the years 2012-2016. Thr Experience Report is produced with the data collected under the annual data calls.
 
Underwriters Experience Report 2012-2016 »

Compliance Reminder: Stop Collecting GARC Fee After Dec. 31

TLTA | Dec. 18, 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

DOJ Says CFPB Is Unconstitutional, But Urges Supreme Court to Deny Writ Since Case Is a "Poor Vehicle"

Lexology | Dec. 14, 2018
On Dec. 10, the DOJ filed a brief in response to a Texas bank and two associations’ (petitioners) petition for writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, challenging the constitutionality of the CFPB’s structure, with the DOJ arguing that the Bureau’s structure infringes on the president’s responsibility to ensure that federal laws are faithfully executed, but urging the court to deny the writ as the case is a “poor vehicle” for the constitutionality consideration. Specifically, the DOJ argues that the decision would warrant review by the full court, which would be unlikely due to newly appointed Judge Kavanaugh’s involvement in the January 2018 D.C. Circuit en banc decision in PHH v. CFPB (covered by a Buckley Sandler Special Alert). Additionally, the DOJ acknowledges that the petitioners’ standing to sue “is sufficiently questionable to present a significant vehicle problem,” as the Texas bank is supervised by the OCC and the two associations are not regulated by the Bureau. On the merits, however, the DOJ agrees with the petitioners that statutory restriction on the president’s authority to remove the Bureau’s director violates the constitution. Citing Judge Kavanaugh’s dissent opinion in the PHH en banc decision, the DOJ asserts that not only does the for-cause removal restrict the president’s powers to ensure the laws are faithfully executed, a single-director lacks the attributes of a multi-member commission that would warrant a for-cause removal provision. 
 
Read More »

New Faces in Housing Regulation

DS News | Dec. 13, 2018

New Financial Services Committee Head

When the Democrats took the House in the midterm elections, Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) was pegged as a favorite to succeed the current House Financial Services Committee Chair Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex). The week began with the representative from California earning the nomination to chair the committee from her fellow Democrats.
 
According to the Washington Examiner, Waters, who has been a vocal critic of some of the administration's current policies, said that she would "prioritize protecting consumers and investors from abusive financial practices," while ensuring "strong safeguards" to prevent another financial crisis.
 
The Examiner said that she also promised to bolster affordable housing opportunities while promoting diversity and inclusion in the financial services sector. Waters also plans to keep a close eye on the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) that just got a new head last week. "Of particular importance is ensuring that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is not dismantled by Trump’s appointees. This critical agency must be allowed to resume its work of protecting consumers from unfair, deceptive or abusive practices without interference from the Trump Administration," she said.

New BCFP Director 

Kathleen Kraninger began her stint as the BCFP's new Director this week after she was confirmed by the Senate to lead the agency for five years on Dec. 6. At a press conference, Kraninger answered questions ranging from which policies laid down by the outgoing Acting Director, Mick Mulvaney would she change and not change, including changing the name from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP).
 
Kraninger said that she would take a fresh look at Mulvaney's decision to change the name of the agency while acknowledging the internal BCFP report that the name change would cost the industry $300 million. Additionally, she said that she cared “more about what the agency does than what it is called.” Her regulatory priorities, she said, were reflected in the BCFP's most recent semi-annual regulatory agenda.
 
Read More »

TREC Inspector Committee Accepting Applications for Members

Texas Real Estate Commission | Dec. 13, 2018
The Texas Real Commission is accepting applications for appointment to open Inspector and public member positions of the Texas Real Estate Inspector Committee.

The Texas Real Estate Inspector Committee is an advisory committee whose purpose is to make recommendations regarding inspection-related matters to the Commission with the goal of ensuring a high degree of service to and protection of the public. 

The committee consists of six professional inspectors and three public members. Inspector members serve staggered six-year terms and must hold a professional real estate inspector license. Public members serve staggered two-year terms and cannot hold an active occupational license or otherwise be employed in the real estate field (e.g. appraiser, real estate broker/salesperson, mortgage broker, real estate inspector, etc.).

Apply to Become a Member of the Committee »

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