January 3, 2019


In This Issue:

  • Newly Elected Legislators Prepare for 86th Session of Texas Legislature – Which Starts Jan. 8
  • Compliance Reminder: Stop Collecting GARC Fee
  • Underwriters: TDI Adopts 2019 Maintenance Fees and Taxes, Examination Assessments
  • CFPB: Kraninger Kills Bureau Name Change
  • Fannie Mae Releases New Policies for Originations During Government Shutdown
  • FHFA's 2019 Plan for Fannie, Freddie

Newly Elected Legislators Prepare for 86th Session of Texas Legislature – Which Starts Jan. 8

KXAN | Dec. 30, 2018
The 86th Session of the Texas Legislature starts Jan. 8. Voters sent a lot of new lawmakers to the Capitol. Most start Jan. 8 – but some of them are already on the job.
 
State Senator Carol Alvarado (D-Houston) took the oath of office on Dec. 21. The former state representative won a special election in District 6. Alvarado replaces Sylvia Garcia, who was elected to Congress in November.  

 
"Certainly getting sworn in early, I think that is going to give us a little advance in getting ready to get to work to start filing bills and tackling the issues that are important to Senate District 6 and the state of Texas," Alvarado said.

 
Sen. Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton) took office in October, after winning the District 19 special election. Flores won the seat vacated by Democrat Carlos Uresti, who resigned after a criminal conviction that led to a prison sentence.

 
Flores has already filed his first bill, a measure to allow Justices of the Peace to hear property tax valuation protests. He believes that will help property owners, who have to take those protests to district court. "It's about the service. That's why I am here," Flores said.
 
Read More »
 

Compliance Reminder: Stop Collecting GARC Fee

TLTA | Jan. 2, 2019
The Guaranty Assessment Recoupment Charge (GARC) fee that you've been collecting throughout 2018 expired Dec. 31. You should have stopped collecting that fee as of Dec. 31 (see note 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.

 

Underwriters: TDI Adopts 2019 Maintenance Fees and Taxes, Examination Assessments

Texas Department of Insurance | Jan. 2, 2019
The Texas Department of Insurance has adopted the 2019 rates for maintenance taxes and fees, and examination assessments:
Section 1.414 outlines the 2019 maintenance taxes and fees insurers pay on premiums.
Section 7.1001 outlines the 2019 assessments to cover the expenses to examine domestic and foreign insurance companies and self-insurance groups providing workers' compensation insurance.

See TDI's website for a copy of the changes.

 
NOTE: These taxes, fees and assessments apply to underwriters only.
 

CFPB: Kraninger Kills Bureau Name Change

HousingWire | Dec. 19, 2018
Just one day after Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., called for an internal investigation into the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s mission to change its name to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, new CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger is putting an end to the whole affair.
 
In what amounts to Kraninger’s first official act as the CFPB director, she told bureau employees that she is suspending any efforts to change the bureau’s name from the CFPB to the BCFP.
 
“As of December 17, 2018, I have officially halted all ongoing efforts to make changes to existing products and materials related to the name correction initiative,” Kraninger said in an email to bureau employees, which was obtained by HousingWire.

 
Read More » 
 

Fannie Mae Releases New Policies for Originations During Government Shutdown

HousingWire | Jan. 2, 2019
Mortgage giant Fannie Mae released guidance Wednesday with new policies on how lenders can originate mortgages during the government shutdown.

The government partially shut down after Congress and the president failed to pass a new funding bill before the holidays, and now, 12 days later, that shutdown continues.
Before leaving for the holidays, Congress did not pass a spending bill that included the president’s requested $5 billion in funding for a border wall, and President Donald Trump refused to sign any bill that did not include that funding.

“We are providing temporary guidance on selling and servicing policies that may be impacted by the federal government shutdown that occurred on December 22, 2018,” Fannie Mae said in a letter to lenders. “This guidance assumes that the shutdown will be temporary in nature.”

“These temporary policies are effective immediately, and will automatically expire when the federal government resumes full operations,” the letter continued. “If the shutdown lasts for a prolonged period, we may provide additional guidance.”
 
Read More » 

FHFA's 2019 Plan for Fannie, Freddie

MReport | Dec. 20, 2018
On Dec. 19, The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released the 2019 Scorecard for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Common Securitization Solutions. The FHFA notes that the 2019 Scorecard furthers the goals outlined in the Agency’s 2014 Strategic Plan for the Conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
 
Much like the previous year’s Scorecard, the GSEs, as well as Common Securitization Solutions will be assessed for all Scorecard items based on the following key criteria: The extent to which each Enterprise conducts initiatives in a safe and sound manner consistent with FHFA's expectations for all activities; the extent to which the outcomes of each Enterprise's activities support a competitive and resilient secondary mortgage market to support homeowners and renters; the extent to which each GSE meets FHFA's expectations under the Conservatorship Capital Framework (CCF), including FHFA's expectations on meeting appropriate return on conservatorship capital targets; the extent to which each Enterprise conducts initiatives with consideration for diversity and inclusion consistent with FHFA's expectations for all activities; cooperation and collaboration with FHFA, each other, the industry, and other stakeholders; and the quality, thoroughness, creativity, effectiveness, and timeliness of their work products.
 
Read More » 

TLTA has scheduled a variety of live webinars for 2019! Register now, or explore our library of more than 80 On-Demand webinars and videos covering the title industry topics you need!