February 27, 2019


In This Issue:

  • Legislative Update: Chairman of Senate B&C Files Title-Related Legislation, Bill Filing Deadline Looming
  • Hear Positive Testimony About Texas' Title Insurance System During Recent Legislative Hearing
  • U.S. Senate Banking Committee Approves Calabria as Head of FHFA
  • U.S. House Financial Services Committee Announces March 7 Hearing on CFPB
  • Fannie and Freddie Fist Fight Brewing Amid Trump Administration Infighting

Legislative Update

State Sen. Kelly Hancock, chairman of the Senate's Business and Commerce Committee, filed SB 1062 this week. His bill would amend statute to give any interested individual the ability to trigger a title insurance premium rate hearing as well as the option to request that it be conducted as a contested hearing. We are working with Chairman Hancock's office to address every concern about this proposed change.
 
Elsewhere in the Capitol, budget writers continue to meet, and bills on the Governor's list of emergency items are being heard in committee, including property tax relief.
 
The bill filing deadline for the 86th Session of the Texas Legislature is March 8. Lawmakers have filed more than 3,700 bills to-date. Staff at TLTA are currently monitoring the development of these 44 bills and other issues that could impact our industry or industry partners.
 
TLTA's legislative team is working to advance our Legislative Priorities for the 86th Session. Our priorities include maintaining Texas’ successful title insurance system, modernizing the Texas Title Insurance Guaranty Association (HB 1614), clarifying the Remote Online Notary (RON) statute approved last session, and certificates of authority for entities (HB 1833 and SB 977).

Hear Positive Testimony About Texas' Title Insurance System During Recent Legislative Hearing

TLTA | Feb. 25, 2019
On Feb. 14 (one day after TLTA's Day at the Capitol event) John Fleming, General Counsel for the Texas Mortgage Bankers Association, testified in support of Texas' current title insurance system when asked about it by state Rep. Stan Lambert in the House Pensions, Investments and Financial Services Committee. The Texas Mortgage Bankers Association, along with these trade associations, have taken positions in support of our system and we are grateful for all their support.
 
To hear John Fleming's testimony, click the link below, and advance to 1:56:16:
 
Feb. 14 Hearing of House Pensions, Investments and Financial Services Committee » 
 
 

U.S. Senate Banking Committee Approves Calabria as Head of FHFA

HousingWire | Feb. 26, 2019
The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs voted Tuesday to advance the nomination of Mark Calabria as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency to a full Senate vote.

The vote passed along party lines at 13 to 12.

Back in December, President Donald Trump selected Calabria, who then served as chief economist for Vice President Mike Pence, to be the next director of the FHFA.

Previously, Calabria served as a senior aide on the Senate Banking Committee where he was one of the lead drafters of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, which created the FHFA.
Calabria served as deputy assistant secretary for regulatory affairs at the Department of Housing and Urban Development during former President George W. Bush’s administration. Calabria also held positions at Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, the National Association of Home Builders and the National Association of Realtors.

And now, the Senate Banking Committee passed the vote to nominate Calabria as the next FHFA director. The vote will move to the full Senate, where it is also expected to pass.
 
Read More »
 

U.S. House Financial Services Committee Announces March 7 Hearing on CFPB

National Law Review | Feb. 26, 2019
House Financial Services Committee Maxine Waters has announced a series of hearings for next month, including one entitled “Putting Consumers First? A Semi-Annual Review of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau” scheduled for March 7, 2019.

The CFPB released its Fall 2018 Semi-Annual Report earlier this month. Since no further information about the hearing is currently available, it is not clear if it is intended to be the “traditional” hearing held by the House Financial Services Committee following the issuance of a semi-annual report at which the Bureau’s Director would appear and answer questions.
 
Read More »
 

Fannie and Freddie Fist Fight Brewing Amid Trump Administration Infighting

FOX Business | Feb. 23, 2019
The Trump administration is at war with itself over who should take the lead in the reform of the government-backed mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – and just what that reform may look like, FOX Business has learned.
 
The battle centers on whether the Treasury Department should continue to advocate what it views as a plan for the future of the mortgage companies or cede control of those efforts to the incoming chief of the Federal Housing Financial Agency (FHFA), economist Mark Calabria, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.
 
The FHFA provides frontline regulation of the mortgage companies. White House economic officials want any Fannie and Freddie reform plan to be spearheaded by Calabria, even as the specifics of what he sees as the future of the outfits remain murky, they added.
 
The move by the White House advisers comes as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who first told FOX Business about his reform views in 2016, and his adviser on housing policy Craig Phillips, and acting housing director Joseph Otting have made public statements suggesting that the reform of the companies is nearing completion. This has lifted shares of Fannie and Freddie higher as investors bet on a recapitalization of the outfits and the belief that a release from government control will enhance shareholder value.
 
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!