May 8, 2019

In This Issue:

  • Legislative Update: TLTA Bills in Senate Business and Commerce Committee Tomorrow
  • Sen. Cruz Reintroduces Bill to Eliminate CFPB
  • New TREC Commissioners Confirmed: Welcome Barbara Russell and Jason Hartgraves
  • Real Estate’s Latest Bid: Zillow Wants to Buy Your House

Legislative Update

With less than three weeks remaining in the 86th Session of the Texas Legislature, legislative deadlines are passing and many bills are dying Capitol-wide.
We are pleased to report that we continue to advance TLTA's legislative priorities, and we've benefited from significant progress in the last week. 
HB 3228—which would clarify who has access to participate in TDI rate hearings (a measure we are working to pass)—was passed by the House on Friday, May 3. The Senate's Business and Commerce Committee is scheduled to hear it tomorrow, May 9.
The TTIGA update bill (HB 1614/SB 2333) was passed by the Texas House on Friday, May 3, and the Senate Business and Commerce Committee recommended it for the Senate's local and uncontested calendar. 
The House County Affairs Committee last week heard the RON-related 'papering out' legislation we support (HB 3060/SB 2128), passing SB 2128 in lieu of the companion (i.e., HB 3060). 
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 passed by the House on Friday, May 3, and the Senate's Business and Commerce Committee is scheduled to consider HB 1833 tomorrow, May 9. 
We continue monitoring the progress of these 77 bills, and we remain engaged in productive dialogue with stakeholders and the authors of the bills on this list.
Elsewhere in the Texas Legislature, the Senate passed the House's school finance reform legislation, HB 3, after adding more than 40 amendments. Both chambers have appointed conference committees, and conferees are now charged with reconciling the chambers' different visions for the legislation.
Only 19 days remain until the Texas Legislature's 86th Session adjourns Sine Die. 
Following the conclusion of the legislative session, Leslie Midgley and Aaron Day will present a TLTA Advocacy Update at our 2019 Annual Conference and Business Meeting. Their update will detail outcomes of the TLTA legislative priorities discussed above, as well as other legislative action that impacts our industry. Learn more, or register now.  

Sen. Cruz Reintroduces Bill to Eliminate CFPB

HousingWire | May 7, 2019
If a handful of Republicans in the Senate have their way, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will not exist for much longer, as for at least the third time in the last few years, Republicans are trying to kill the CFPB.

And just like the two previous times it’s been attempted, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is leading the way.

Cruz on Tuesday announced that he is reintroducing a bill, titled the “Repeal CFPB Act,” which would do exactly that: eliminate the CFPB.

As stated above, this is Cruz’s third time to try to legislatively destroy the CFPB.

Back in 2015, Cruz introduced a bill in the Senate that would have eliminated the CFPB, calling the CFPB a “runaway agency.” The bill did not pass, and in 2017, Cruz tried again.

“During the Obama administration, the CFPB grew in power and magnitude without any accountability to Congress and the people, and I am encouraged by the actions President Trump has begun to take to roll back the harmful impacts of an out-of-control bureaucracy,” Cruz said in 2017.

In both of those previous attempts, Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, joined Cruz’s efforts to do away with the CFPB.

Now, Cruz is at it again, but this time, he has some support in the Senate.

Joining Cruz in introducing the bill are: Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah; Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.; Ben Sasse, R-Neb.; Mike Rounds, R-S.D.; Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; and Rand Paul, R-Ky.
Read More »

New TREC Commissioners Confirmed: Welcome Barbara Russell and Jason Hartgraves

TLTA | May 7, 2019
Barbara Russell of Denton is broker and owner of Barbara Russell, REALTORS, Inc., where she engages primarily in property management. Jason Hartgraves of Frisco is chief deputy for the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department. 
Gov. Abbott nominated them to their posts in March, and they were confirmed by the Senate May 1. Both will serve terms that will expire on Jan. 31, 2025.
"We are pleased to welcome Barbara and Jason, and we look forward to working together to continue supporting the success of Texas' real estate marketplace," said Leslie Midgley, Executive Vice President and CEO, Texas Land Title Association. 
Read More »

Real Estate’s Latest Bid: Zillow Wants to Buy Your House

New York Times | May 7, 2019
In today’s on-demand digital world, buying and selling a home remains stubbornly, painfully analog. Most sales still begin with a real estate agent (and a 6 percent commission). Most still end in an office, with the two sides signing page after page of legalese.

Silicon Valley wants to change that. Tech companies have begun to nibble away at the edges of the residential real estate industry, offering virtual open houses, digital closings and other services. Now they are coming straight for the real estate transaction itself through “instant buying,” in which companies buy homes, perform some light maintenance and put them back on the market.

Established companies like Zillow and venture-backed upstarts like Opendoor and Offerpad have raised billions of dollars on the promise that they can use sophisticated algorithms to predict the value of individual homes. They contend that those predictions, combined with old-fashioned economies of scale, will allow them to be far more efficient than traditional home flippers.
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!