August 28, 2019

In This Issue:

  • Basic Manual Changes Effective Sept. 1
  • More Legislative Changes Affecting Title Agents Effective Sept. 1
  • Trump Administration to Release Plan for Fannie, Freddie After Labor Day
  • Appraisals May Soon Not Be Required on Certain Home Sales of $400,000 and Under
  • Moody’s Rates New FHA Condo Guidelines Credit Positive

Basic Manual Changes Effective Sept. 1

TLTA | Aug. 27, 2019
In June 2019, TDI Commissioner Kent Sullivan issued an order adjusting the basic premium rate for title insurance and amending R-5, R-8 and R-20 in the Basic Manual of Title Insurance. These updates will be effective Sept. 1, 2019.
 
TLTA Basic Manual Service subscribers please note that TLTA's online Basic Manual will be updated with the Sept. 1 changes on Friday, Aug. 30.
 
Please note: You should be begin charging the new rates on the “closing date” which is for this purpose the date the documents are signed.
 
Learn More »
On-Demand Webinar: New Rate and Rate Rule Changes to Basic Manual » 
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More Legislative Changes Affecting Title Agents Effective Sept. 1

TLTA | Aug. 28, 2019
The Texas Legislature passed new laws during the legislative session that concluded in May. Some of the changes could affect the daily operations of your title insurance company, including Remote Online Notary clarification changes, changes to the TTIGA statute, and the use of Certificates of Authority for Entities.
 
Steve Streiff, who chairs TLTA's legislative committee, and Aaron Day, TLTA's government affairs director, will present a live webinar at 1:30 pm today explaining how these changes will affect the day-to-day running of a title insurance company.
 
Learn More in Our Legislative Report »
Register for Today's Live Webinar »
Access Our Legislative Changes Webinar On-Demand »


Trump Administration to Release Plan for Fannie, Freddie After Labor Day

HousingWire | Aug. 27, 2019
The Trump administration plans to release the plan for the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in early September, sources close to the matter told HousingWire.
 
Fannie and Freddie are coming up on their 11th anniversary of being taken into conservatorship, and now the administration seems to be taking serious steps to remove government-sponsored enterprises from conservatorship.
 
Last summer, President Donald Trump released a massive proposal that, among other things, would end the government conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
 
In a section of the 132-page document entitled “Reform Federal Role in Mortgage Finance,” the Trump administration proposed ending the conservatorship of Fannie and Freddie and privatizing the government-sponsored enterprises.
 
Now, the administration is preparing to release its comprehensive plan for the GSEs. It is expected to release the plan shortly after Labor Day.
 
“I’m expecting that Treasury and the administration will lay out their vision of what they think Congress should do, what they think I should do and what they think the Treasury and I should be able to do together in terms of amendments to the share agreements that allow an exit out of conservatorship,” Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria said in an exclusive sit down with HousingWire.
 
Calabria explained the plan will include parts directed at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Housing Administration and FHFA.
 
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Appraisals May Soon Not Be Required on Certain Home Sales of $400,000 and Under

HousingWire | Aug. 23, 2019
Certain home sales of $400,000 and under may soon not need an appraisal, as federal regulators are close to approving a proposal to increase the threshold at which residential home sales require an appraisal for the first time since 1994.

In November, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve released a proposal that would increase the appraisal requirement from $250,000 to $400,000, meaning that certain home sales of $400,000 and below would no longer require an appraisal.

Now, the proposal is just one step away from being finalized and adopted as proposed.
 
Earlier this week, the FDIC published the final rule on the matter, stating that the rule is approved as proposed.

That led some to conclude that the rule is finalized, but a representative from the FDIC told HousingWire that the Federal Reserve has not yet signed off the proposal.
 
The proposal has been approved by both the FDIC and OCC, but without Fed approval, the rule cannot move forward.

But considering that the FDIC and OCC have approved the rule, and gotten sign-off on the matter from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, it’s likely only a matter of time before the Fed approves the rule, it’s entered into the Federal Register, and enacted as the law of the land.

Now, it’s important to note that the new rules do not apply to loans wholly or partially insured or guaranteed by, or eligible for sale to, a government agency or government-sponsored agency.

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Moody’s Rates New FHA Condo Guidelines Credit Positive

HousingWire | Aug. 26, 2019
New condo rules from the Federal Housing Administration could allow for the financing of an additional 60,000 condo loans each year.
 
Currently, of the more than 150,000 condo projects across the country, only 6.5% are approved for FHA financing.
 
The FHA has finally issued a long-awaited update to its condominium rules, announcing earlier in August that it will now allow individual unit approval and is taking other steps to loosen requirements that make these properties eligible for FHA financing.
 
Under the revised guidelines – which take effect Oct. 15, 2019 – an individual condo unit in a building of 10 units or more may be eligible for spot approval if no more than 10% of the units are FHA-insured. For units in buildings with fewer than 10 units, no more than two units can have FHA insurance.
 
Now, a new report from Moody’s says these guidelines are credit positive for the state of housing finance agencies because it will increase the supply of affordable single-family housing that HFAs will be able to finance, potentially increasing their revenue.
 
Moody’s explained that the revised rules introduce a new single-unit approval process which makes certain individual condo units eligible for FHA mortgage insurance even if the building as a whole is not certified by the FHA.
 
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