May 1, 2019

In This Issue:

  • Legislative Update: Priority Bills Advancing, Upcoming Deadlines, Final Month of Session
  • TDI Publishes Title Agent Statistical Report for 2017
  • TDI Quarterly Audit Results Published
  • Compliance Reminder: Guaranty Fee Reinstated as of TODAY
  • TLTA Welcomes ALTA's New Chief Executive Officer Diane Tomb
  • New TREC Chair Appointed - Scott Kesner of El Paso
  • ICYMI: FBI Releases Internet Crime Report

Legislative Update

TLTA's legislative priorities continue advancing in the Texas House and Senate.

HB 3228—which would clarify who has access to participate in TDI rate hearings (a measure we are working to pass)—was approved by the House Calendars Committee and has been placed on the House's General State Calendar.

Both chambers have held hearings on the TTIGA update bill (HB 1614/SB 2333). HB 1614 is on the House's local/uncontested calendar May 3. 

Likewise, the RON-related 'papering out' legislation we support (HB 3060/SB 2128) continues to advance. The House County Affairs Committee heard HB 3060 last week, and on Monday they heard SB 2128 in lieu of the companion (i.e., HB 3060). The committee approved SB 2128, and recommended it for the House's local/uncontested calendar. 

Legislation related to certificates of authority that identify who has the authority on behalf of partnerships and corporations to sell real property (HB 1833/SB 977) was approved by the House Calendars Committee and was placed on the House's General State Calendar. 

We continue monitoring the progress of these 77 bills. We are engaged in productive dialogue with stakeholders and the authors of the bills on this list that cause concern for our industry or our strategic partners.

Elsewhere in the Texas Legislature, the House passed SB 2 – the property tax reform bill supported by the Legislature's Big 3. And, legislative deadlines loom large as legislators, industries and advocates work to pass their priority legislation.

These are the deadlines that will come into play during the final month of the session (CLICK THE IMAGE TO ENLARGE):

Only 26 days remain until the Texas Legislature's 86th Session adjourns Sine Die. 

TDI Publishes Title Agent Statistical Report for 2017

TDI | May 1, 2019
Under Insurance Code Section 2703.153, the Texas Department of Insurance’s Property and Casualty Data Services Team annually collects information from title agents and underwriters doing business in Texas. TDI asks agents and companies to report their income, expenses and losses. TDI publishes these reports in the Texas Title Insurance Agent Experience Report Compilation. 

This Agent Experience Report for 2017 includes a compilation of information from the Texas title insurance agents’ data call for calendar year 2017. 
Read the Report »

TDI Quarterly Audit Results Published

TLTA | May 1, 2019
The following is a summary of recent TDI audits, violations and enforcement actions from Dec. 2018 through Feb. 2019. Read TDI's complete summary of operations for the quarter, or read the key statistics below.

Compliance Audits: TDI's goal is to comprehensively audit agencies at least once every two years. This quarter, TDI conducted 61 audits.

Commissioner Orders: This quarter, TDI signed 8 Commissioner Orders. As of this report, 39 cases remain active and under investigation.

Compliance Audit Results: Below are TDI's most common audit findings for the quarter that ended in February. The numbers below represent how many agencies had an infraction, not the number of times the infraction occurred:
Number of Agencies Category Description
57 Title Insurance Code Actual receipts and/or disbursements not in agreement with settlement statement or premium split not disclosed
41 Escrow Accounting Outstanding checks not cleared timely
43 Minimum Escrow Accounting Procedures & Internal Controls Every disbursement not supported by invoice or sufficient other evidence
33 Minimum Escrow Accounting Procedures & Internal Controls Disbursement sheets, missing, incomplete or incorrect
Read Full Quarterly Audit Report »

Compliance Reminder: Guaranty Fee Reinstated as of TODAY

TLTA | April 23, 2019
As announced in January and reported in Dateline, the Texas Title Insurance Guaranty Association (TTIGA) board voted to reinstate the Guaranty Fee at $2 per policy for each owner and lender title insurance policy closed on or after May 1, 2019. 
Collection of the Guaranty Fee was also required at select times from 2004 to 2017. Since Dec. 31, 2017, no Guaranty Fees should have been collected.
Whether or not the Guaranty Fee should be charged is determined by the closing date of applicable transactions, not the funding date. The $2 Guaranty Fee must be charged for any policy closed on or after May 1, 2019. Collection of the fee should continue through Dec. 31, 2019.
These fees should be remitted to TTIGA quarterly, and the first remittance is due Aug. 1, 2019.
Find Remittance Forms and Learn More »

TLTA Welcomes ALTA's New CEO Diane Tomb

TLTA | May 1, 2019
The American Land Title Association (ALTA) named Diane Tomb its new CEO as of July 1.
"Working to protect consumers' property rights is a shared priority for all of us, and I look forward to working closely with Diane to advance our industry's priorities at the national and state levels," said Texas Land Title Association Executive VP and CEO, Leslie Midgley.
Read More »

New TREC Chair Appointed - Scott Kesner of El Paso

TLTA| May 1, 2019
Governor Abbott has named Scott Kesner of El Paso Chairman of the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC).  
Kesner's appointment was confirmed by the Texas Senate April 24. His appointment is effective April 25, 2019. Kesner is the broker and owner of Century 21 The Edge with offices in El Paso, Midland and Snyder. He served as Chair of the Texas Association of REALTORS in 2015.
Kesner succeeds Avis Wukasch, whose term expired in January after serving the commission since 2008. 
"We welcome Scott's leadership and celebrate our shared commitment to the continued success of Texas' real estate marketplace," said Leslie Midgley, Executive Vice President and CEO, Texas Land Title Association. 
Read More »

ICYMI: FBI Releases Internet Crime Report

TLTA | April 29, 2019
On April 22, the FBI released its 2018 Internet Crime Report.
The report identified 11,300 victims of real estate wire fraud, who lost $149,458,114 in 2018. That's an increase from 9,645 victims who lost $56,231,333 in 2017.
Additional Cyber Crime Information Can Be Found on TLTA's Cyber Fraud Resources Page »

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!