August 14, 2019

In This Issue:

  • SURVEY: How's It Going with RON?
  • NAIC Issues Consumer Wire Fraud Alert
  • Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Delaying Use of New Uniform Residential Loan Application
  • Do I Really Need Flood Insurance?

SURVEY: How's It Going with RON?

TLTA | Aug. 13, 2019
Now that the use of Remote Online Notaries has been in place for over a year, TLTA would like to hear how it's going.  
Would you help us, please, by answering this brief, 30-second survey?
Thank you for your help us as we continue measuring and monitoring the RON marketplace!

NAIC Issues Consumer Wire Fraud Alert

NAIC | Aug. 8, 2019
Wire fraud is one of the fastest growing cybercrimes in the country. According to the Federal Trade Commission, consumers reported losing $1.48 billion to fraud in 2018; that's an increase of 38% over 2017. Wire fraud is any event where an individual is tricked into sending money via wire transfer to a fraudster. Wire fraud includes imposter scams, debt collection schemes and identity theft.

Real estate transactions can also be a target for wire transfer fraud. These transactions often include multiple parties, buyer, seller, real estate agents, mortgage lenders, and title, closing and settlement agents. Fraudsters can use online real estate shopping tools to seek out transactions getting ready to close, hack into an unsecure email account for one of the individuals involved in the transaction and use that information to send wire transfer details to unsuspecting buyers. When obtaining title insurance, be sure you are aware of your transactions. Consumers and professionals in the industry need to be privy to these types of schemes so they don't fall victim.

The NAIC offers these tips to help keep you protected:
Read More »
Learn More via TLTA's Cyberfraud Resources Page »

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Delaying Use of New Uniform Residential Loan Application

HousingWire | Aug. 8, 2019
Nearly three years ago, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced that they were changing the standard mortgage application form for the first time in 20 years. As the development process moved forward, the government-sponsored enterprises dictated that lenders would be required to begin using the new loan application by Feb. 1, 2020.

But that’s not the case anymore.

Fannie and Freddie announced Thursday that they are delaying the mandatory use of the redesigned Uniform Residential Loan Application to an unspecified date in the future.

According to the GSEs, they have been directed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency to make certain changes to the new URLA form. As a result, the GSEs are now no longer requiring lenders to use the new URLA by Feb. 1, 2020.
Read More »

Do I Really Need Flood Insurance?

TDI Commissioner Kent Sullivan | Aug. 11, 2019
(Editor's Note: Commissioner Sullivan sent this to TDI's audience earlier this week. We thought you might be interested in learning more about what he and TDI have to say.)
We often hear the question: Do I really need flood insurance? There are about 5 million homeowners policies in Texas, but fewer than 750,000 federal flood policies. That means less than 16 percent of homeowners are covered for flood damage in a state with 367 miles of coastline and “Flash Flood Alley” in Central Texas.

Insurance agents can help change this. As we approach the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, let’s remind consumers: If it can rain, it can flood. Floods can happen anywhere. A Houston Chronicle analysis found that almost three-quarters of the homes flooded by Harvey were outside federally designated high-risk areas. It’s worth repeating to consumers that most home insurance policies don’t cover flooding.

Whether working with a new client or an existing one, always discuss flood insurance. Even if someone’s home has never flooded, the risk can change over time. Development, loss of grasslands, and even a neighbor’s new privacy fence could increase the flood risk for a home.

The National Flood Insurance Program answers common consumer questions in its Why You Need Flood Insurance publication. You may find this information helpful when talking with your clients.

We find that many homeowners overestimate the cost of flood insurance. Most homeowners can buy a federal flood policy for less than $500 a year for property outside of high-risk flood zones. Renters will find contents-only policies that cover their belongings at an even lower cost.

History has unequivocally shown that a lack of flood coverage is a serious problem for consumers. Insurance agents are in a unique position to educate people about flood risks and how to protect their financial interests. Given what’s at stake, we owe it to Texans to have that discussion.

Explore our library of more than 80 On-Demand webinars and videos covering the title industry topics you need to earn continuing education credits and stay ahead of the curve on the latest industry trends.