June 14, 2019

This is a banner time for our industry, and this week's Dateline includes the clearest examples yet: Gov. Abbott signed our priority legislation, TDI adopted TLTA's proposed changes to title industry rates and rules, years of work produced by industry volunteers have been published by TDI, and our efforts at the congressional level are producing crucial forward momentum. Great work everyone!
-- Aaron

In This Issue:

  • TDI Adopts Order for Rate and Rule Revisions
  • Governor Signs Industry's Priority Bills
  • Draft of Reorganized Basic Manual Published by TDI for Public Comment
  • Following Industry's Advocacy, Texas Members of Congress Submit Letter to Fed Requesting Closer Examination of Wire Fraud, Development of Potential Solutions

TDI Adopts Order for Rate and Rule Revisions

TLTA | June 12, 2019
On Tuesday the Texas Department of Insurance approved TLTA's petition via the adoption of an order that revises the basic premium rate and amends our industry's rate rules. 

The changes enacted by this order will be effective Sept. 1, 2019.

The changes scheduled for implementation Sept. 1 are outlined in the following exhibits attached to the order: 
  • Exhibit A - Basic Premium Rates
  • Exhibit B - (R-5) Simultaneous Issuance of Owner's and Loan Policies
  • Exhibit C - (R-8) Loan Policy on a Loan to Take Up, Renew, Extend, or Satisfy an Existing Lien(s)
  • Exhibit D - (R-20) Owner's Policy After Construction Period
Read TDI's Order and Attached Exhibits »  
An educational webinar detailing the changes enacted by TDI's order and how to implement them will be available this summer before the Sept. 1 effective date. Watch for more details in the near future.

If you have questions or comments, please submit them to Aaron Day.

Governor Signs Industry's Priority Bills

TLTA | June 12, 2019
After a legislative session during which 100 percent of our industry's legislative priorities were passed by the Texas Legislature, we are proud to announce that Gov. Abbott has already signed three of the bills our industry championed:
HB 3228 - clarifies who has access to participate in TDI rate hearings
HB 1614 - updates and modernizes TTIGA statute 
SB 2128 - clarifies RON-related statute related to 'papering out' and recording e-notarized documents and e-closing documents

While the governor's veto period continues until June 16, we feel confident that the governor will also allow HB 1833—the fourth bill in our legislative priority package (see description below)—to pass either by signing or without his signature.
HB 1833 - establishes a mechanism by which the authority to sell real properties on behalf of partnerships and limited liability corporations can be assigned for transactions under $1 million.
A full legislative report on the bills listed above, as well as other legislation that could impact our industry and our allies, will be delivered to you after the governor's bill signing and veto period ends June 16. 

Draft of Reorganized Basic Manual Shared by TDI for Public Comment, Review

TLTA | June 12, 2019
Phase 1 of the Basic Manual Reorganization Project being conducted by the Basic Manual Task Force is now available for public review as a DRAFT DOCUMENT. TDI published this concept draft document to gather feedback from the industry, consumers and stakeholders.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The current Basic Manual is still in effect and should be continue to be used. This reformatted version is simply a draft for review and comment. This draft should not be used to confirm compliance with state law or agency rules and does not have the force of law; continue using the TDI-adopted Basic Manual.  If you must cite the manual in any legal document, you must make citations to the current, official Basic Manual and not to this draft.
Draft of Reorganized Basic Manual »
The members of TLTA's Basic Manual Task Force, chaired by Denise Holmes, started their work five years ago. Their first project was to reorganize the Manual in a more user-friendly format; the draft linked above is the product produced during Phase 1. 
Phase 2, which is currently underway, is a plain language non-substantive rewrite of the Manual. The committee recently completed a milestone in that phase of the project and is continuing to work their way through the rest of the publication. Phase 3 will eventually be a more substantive rewrite of the Manual to provide clarity and usability. 
Since the task force first met five years ago they've been holding monthly all-day meetings, and the hours this dedicated group of professionals have devoted to revising the Basic Manual are incalculable.
Meet the Members of the Basic Manual Task Force »

Following Industry's Advocacy, Texas Members of Congress Submit Letter to Fed Requesting Closer Examination of Wire Fraud, Development of Potential Solutions

James E. Hyland, TLTA Federal Legislative Counsel | June 13, 2019
According to the FBI, nearly 11,000 homebuyers were victims of wire fraud last year at a cost of $149 billion.  
During the ALTA Advocacy Summit, TLTA staff and volunteers met with 14 members of Congress, including both of Texas' U.S. Senators, to discuss wire fraud. TLTA also met with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau leaders to reiterate our industry's wire fraud concerns and urge them to continue their efforts to educate the public.  
As a result of our outreach, over 40 members of Congress, led by Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA), wrote to the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jay Powell, urging the Fed to take a closer examination of this problem and develop potential solutions to curtail the fraud. 
Five members of Texas' Congressional delegation signed the letter, including U.S. Reps. Brian Babin, Lance Gooden, Vincente Gonzalez, Sylvia Garcia and Roger Williams. Texas had more signers than any other state, thanks to the good work of TLTA's federal team, including well-connected industry volunteers. 
TLTA will be following up with the Federal Reserve and federal law enforcement agencies to continue highlighting the high cost of wire fraud and the need for solutions that help our industry stay ahead of the challenge. 
Read the Letter »

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