October 30, 2019

In This Issue:

  • TDI Quarterly Audit Results Published
  • Early Voting Ends Friday, Nov. 1. Election Day Is Nov. 5
  • Opportunity Zone Tax Breaks Are Off To a Sluggish Start
  • Calabria: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Will Increase Focus on Exiting Conservatorship
  • TDI Job Opening: Title Insurance Specialist

TDI Quarterly Audit Results Published

Texas Department of Insurance | Oct. 28, 2019
The following is a summary of recent TDI audits, violations and enforcement actions from June through August 2019. Read TDI's complete summary of operations for the quarter, or read the key statistics below.
Compliance Audits: TDI's goal is to comprehensively audit agencies at least once every two years. This quarter, TDI conducted 62 audits.

Commissioner Orders: This quarter, TDI signed 0 Commissioner Orders. As of this report, 40 cases remain active and under investigation.

Compliance Audit Results: Below are TDI's most common audit findings for the quarter that ended in May. The numbers below represent how many agencies had an infraction, not the number of times the infraction occurred:
Number of Agencies
Minimum Escrow Accounting Procedures and Internal Controls
#16 - Every disbursement not supported by invoice or sufficient other evidence
Texas insurance Code
Section 2702.053 - Actual receipts and/or disbursements not in agreement with settlement statement or premium split not disclosed
Escrow Accounting
Outstanding checks not cleared timely
Procedural Rules
P-21: Schedule D of commitment not in file or premium split not disclosed on commitment.
Procedural Rules
P-73: Failure to prepare/maintain form T-64 (TD) when CD used
Read More »

Early Voting Ends Friday, Nov. 1. Election Day Is Nov. 5

TLTA | Oct. 29, 2019
Early voting for constitutional amendments and special elections continues through Friday, Nov. 1. Election day is Nov. 5.
There are ten constitutional amendments on the ballot. And, special elections are being held for the following vacant House seats:
  • District 28 (previously held by John Zerwas, who retired)
  • District 100 (previously held by Eric Johnson, who is now serving as Mayor of Dallas)
  • District 148 (previously held by Jessica Farrar, who retired)
Learn more about the 10 constitutional amendments on the ballot »
Find out when, where and how to vote »

Opportunity Zone Tax Breaks Are Off To a Sluggish Start

Realtor Magazine | Oct. 23, 2019
Opportunity zones have been called one of the biggest real estate tax breaks ever, but investors have been hesitant to take advantage, a new study shows. The tax breaks—which were spawned from the 2017 federal tax overhaul--aim to spur economic growth in nearly 9,000 low-income communities designated across the country. Investors who hold onto the investments for 10 years receive the greatest tax breaks.

Last fall, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin predicted that opportunity zones would lure more than $100 billion in private capital.

So far, however, opportunity zone funds have raised less than 15% of their goals, according to an analysis by San Francisco accounting firm Novogradac & Co. The firm reviewed 103 funds set up to invest in opportunity zones. Those funds have raised a combined $3 billion of the $22.7 billion they are seeking, The Wall Street Journal reports.

"Every manager I talk to is saying gaining traction is slower than expected," John Lettieri, chief executive of the Economic Innovation Group, a nonpartisan think tank, told The Wall Street Journal.
Read More »

Calabria: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Will Increase Focus on Exiting Conservatorship

HousingWire | Oct. 28, 2019
In a keynote speech at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s annual convention in Austin, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria explained the agency is preparing to help Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac exit conservatorship.

On Monday morning, the FHFA released its annual scorecard for the government-sponsored enterprises, outlining the goals its regulator will use for judging their performance in 2020. There were three goals for the GSEs this year, including, “Prepare for transition out of conservatorship.”

But in order to exit conservatorship, the mortgage giants will need to begin to build capital.
At the end of September, the FHFA announced it would allow Fannie and Freddie to rebuild a portion of their capital reserves to a total of $45 billion combined.

Calabria explained in his keynote speech that after just one quarter of retention where Fannie and Freddie profits weren’t swept back, the companies doubled the capital.
Read More »

TDI Job Opening: Title Insurance Specialist

TLTA | Oct. 1, 2019
The Texas Department of Insurance has a job opening that might interest you or someone in your professional network. The agency is hiring a "Title Industry Specialist" with meaningful title insurance experience. 
Read TDI's Posting and Apply »
If you have questions, please contact TDI's David Muckerheide

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