May 15, 2019

In This Issue:

  • Legislative Update: Less than 2 Weeks Remain in the Texas Legislature's 86th Session
  • TDI Rate Hearing In Austin Next Week
  • TLTA Delegation Meets With Congressmen, Regulators and Staff During ALTA Advocacy Summit 2019
  • CORRECTION: TDI Publishes Corrected Title Agent Experience Report for 2017
  • FinCEN Reissues Real Estate Geographic Targeting Orders for Bexar, Tarrant and Dallas Counties
  • ALTA Supports Anti-Money Laundering Bill
  • CFPB Details Plan to Reconsider and Potentially Eliminate Existing Rules

Legislative Update

Less than two weeks remain in the 86th Session of the Texas Legislature. Legislative deadlines are expiring, and the window to advance bills to final passage is closing rapidly.
We continue to advance TLTA's legislative priorities, and we are on track to achieve a passage rate exceeding the 20 percent passage rate for all legislation filed Capitol-wide. 
HB 3228—which would clarify who has access to participate in TDI rate hearings (a measure we are working to pass)—was heard by the Senate Business and Commerce Committee on May 9 and voted out on May 14. This legislation is now headed to the Senate Administration Committee.
The House version of the TTIGA update bill (HB 1614/SB 2333) was heard in the Senate Business and Commerce Committee yesterday. We are working to have the House bill voted out of the Senate committee at the next opportunity. 
The RON-related 'papering out' legislation we support (HB 3060/SB 2128) is in the Local and Consent Calendars Committee, and we are working to get it placed on the next local calendar to be set next week.
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 heard in the Senate Business and Commerce Committee May 9. We are working to have the House bill voted out of the Senate committee at the next opportunity.
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 conference committee charged with negotiating the differences among the House and Senate versions of the state budget is on track and advancing. The state comptroller recently increased his revenue estimate for 2020-21 by $500 million, which gives appropriators more wiggle room as they negotiate the final state budget for the upcoming biennium. 
Only 12 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.

TDI Rate Hearing In Austin Next Week

TLTA | May 14, 2019
The Texas Department of Insurance has scheduled the periodic title insurance rate hearing for next Thursday May 23, 1:30 p.m. at the William P. Hobby Jr. State Office Building, Room 100, in Austin.
TLTA’s legal team, along with our actuarial and economic experts and industry witnesses, will present TLTA’s case.
The hearing is open to any member of the public. TLTA members are welcome to attend as well. For planning purposes, we would estimate that the hearing will last about an hour or so.
Read TDI's Notice » 
These are the materials that will be discussed at the hearing:
TLTA Rate Briefing Book 
TLTA Recommendation 
Amended Actuarial Report
If you have questions, please contact us.  

TLTA Delegation Meets With Congressmen, Regulators and Staff During ALTA Advocacy Summit 2019

TLTA | May 10, 2019
A group of Texas title professionals traveled to Capitol Hill to visit with members of Texas' Congressional delegation during ALTA's Advocacy Summit last week. A small group also met with staff at CFPB and expressed our ongoing concern about simultaneous issue reporting on TRID forms. TLTA is grateful for the strong representation provided by our TLTA member delegation: Andrea Bolin, Lori Cordell, Tracie Fleming, Dan Foster, Paige Foster, John Martin, Jack Rattikin III, Tara Smith, Mary Payne Thomas, Mark Till, Brooks Yeager and Brian Pitman.

On Capitol Hill, the TLTA delegation had the honor of meeting new Congressmen from Texas as well as visiting our established elected officials. The group held 13 different meetings on the Hill, covering almost one-third of our Texas Congressional Delegation. The group shared industry concerns while visiting with U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, U.S. Reps. Roger Williams and Lance Gooden (as pictured below), as well as other members of Congress from Texas.

From Left to Right: Tara Smith, Brooks Yeager, Jack Rattikin III, John Martin, Leslie Midgley, Mark Till, Lori Cordell, Mary Thomas, U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, Andi Bolin, Dan Foster, Paige Foster, Tracie Fleming

From Left to Right: John Martin, Tracie Fleming, Paige Foster, Mark Till, Lori Cordell, U.S. Rep. Lance Gooden, Leslie Midgley, Tara Smith, Andi Bolin, Mary Thomas, Dan Foster

From Left to Right: Paige Foster, Dan Foster, Tracie Fleming, Lori Cordell, Leslie Midgley, John Martin, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, Jack Rattikin III, Mark Till, Mary Thomas, Tara Smith, Andi Bolin

From Left to Right: Jack Rattikin III, Tara Smith, Brian Pitman, John Martin
See More Photos From TLTA's Successful Mission to D.C. for ALTA Advocacy Summit 2019 »

CORRECTION: TDI Publishes Corrected Title Agent Experience Report for 2017

TLTA | May 13, 2019
The 2017 Agent Experience Report published by the Texas Department of Insurance earlier this month has been updated to correct an error that impacted the premium totals for La Salle through Zavalla counties in the .pdf version of the report: 
Read the Corrected Report »
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. 

FinCEN Reissues Real Estate Geographic Targeting Orders for 12 Metropolitan Areas

FinCEN | May 15, 2019
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) today announced the renewal of its Geographic Targeting Orders (GTOs) that require U.S. title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind shell companies used in all-cash purchases of residential real estate. The purchase amount threshold remains $300,000 for each covered metropolitan area.
In Texas, these reporting requirements are limited to transactions occurring in Bexar, Tarrant or Dallas counties.
News Release »
Copy of the GTO »
FAQs »

ALTA Supports Federal Anti-Money Laundering Bill

ALTA | May 8, 2019
ALTA joined several other trade groups in a letter to the House Financial Services and Senate Banking leadership urging passage of the Corporate Transparency Act (HR 2513).

The bill would update anti-money laundering laws and establish a national strategy to protect real estate from money launderers. A requirement for companies to report their beneficial ownership will help law enforcement identify and combat the use of real estate in money laundering. This is integral for efforts to modernize the United States anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime.

States do not require companies to disclose their beneficial owners at the time of creation. This reduces the value of financial intelligence provided by banks, title insurance companies and other financial institutions under their AML and geographic targeting order obligations. A single national repository, operated by law enforcement, would ensure FinCEN obtains valuable information about anonymous shell companies from the sources with the best knowledge.
Read More »

CFPB Details Plan to Reconsider and Potentially Eliminate Existing Rules

HousingWire | May 13, 2019
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is already in the midst of enacting changes to some of its rules, namely the requirements for the data collection and reporting stipulated by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and its enforcement practices, but those may not be the only rule changes coming from the CFPB.

The CFPB announced Monday that it plans to “periodically” review its regulations and may amend or even abolish existing rules.

According to the CFPB, the review of its rules is stipulated by the Regulatory Flexibility Act, which establishes that agencies should review certain rules within 10 years of their enactment and consider those rules’ impact on “small businesses.”

The purpose of the review is to “minimize any significant economic impact of the rules upon a substantial number of small entities,” the CFPB said.
Read More »

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