November 6, 2019

In This Issue:

  • ELECTION UPDATE: 9 of 10 Constitutional Amendments Approved; Special Elections for Texas House Headed to Run-offs
  • How a New Rainfall Study Affects Texas Commercial Real Estate
  • MISMO Releases ALTA-Supported Closing Instructions Templates
  • TDI Job Opening: Title Insurance Specialist

ELECTION UPDATE: 9 of 10 Constitutional Amendments Approved; Special Elections for Texas House Headed to Run-offs

TLTA | Nov. 6, 2019
While some election returns from some communities have not been reported yet, the results below should be accurate, barring any surprises:
 

Constitutional Amendments

Texas voters approved nine of the ten amendments to the Texas constitution that were on the ballot this cycle. The first amendment on the ballot, Proposition 1, appears to have been defeated. Proposition 1 would have amended the state’s constitution to permit elected municipal court judges to serve multiple municipalities at the same time.
 

Special Elections for Texas House Seats

The three special elections for vacant seats in the Texas House appear to be headed to run-offs: 
 
House District 28 
A run-off election for the House seat formerly occupied by Rep. John Zerwas is expected to include Democratic candidate, Eliz Markowitz, who appears to have finished first in yesterday's election with 39 percent of the vote, and Republican candidate Gary Gates, who was runner-up with 28 percent.
 
House District 100:
A run-off election for the House seat formerly occupied by Rep. Eric Johnson is expected to include Democrats Lorraine Birabil and James Armstrong. Birabil appears to have received 33 percent of the vote in yesterday's election, while Armstrong finished with 21 percent. Due to the very narrow margins between the second-, third- and fourth-place finishers, it appears that third- and fourth-place finishers are eligible to request recounts. 
 
House District 148:  
A run-off election for the House seat formerly occupied by Rep. Jessica Farrar is expected to include Democrat Anna Eastman, who appears to have earned approximately 20 percent of the vote in yesterday's election, and Republican Luis La Rotta, who appears to have come in second with approximately 16 percent.
 

How a New Rainfall Study Affects Texas Commercial Real Estate

Texas Realtor Magazine | Nov. 1, 2019
Atlas 14 is the nationwide study of rainfall intensities, led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with additional input from other federal, state, and local entities. Historical rainfall data was collected from 3,900 water gauges and is beneficial in understanding rainfall events and flood risk. Atlas 14 assigns the statistical probable occurrence of 100-year storms and other rainfall frequency events.

Atlas 14 is segmented into various regions, with Texas denoted as Volume 11. Texas rainfall data is now available through 2017, and includes data from Hurricane Harvey. The Texas/Volume 11 data, which was released in October 2018, clearly displays an increase in rainfall across a band from Del Rio to Austin over to Houston, as well as Corpus Christi and San Antonio. Central Texas and East Texas are the areas with the most increase in rainfall. The northern part of the state was not affected.

Local governments throughout the impacted areas are currently updating their regulations to address this new data and the new risk it presents. The following is a summary of changes currently underway in the Austin, San Antonio, and Houston areas.
 
Read More »


MISMO Releases ALTA-Supported Closing Instructions Templates

HousingWire | Oct. 28, 2019
For several decades, the title and mortgage industries have tried to develop uniform closing instructions.
 
However, the goal to create common formatting within the templates to ensure that information pertinent to the closing can be found in the same place in the instructions—regardless of the lender—may be nearing the finish line.
 
On Oct. 18, Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO) issued new templates for closing instructions. ALTA and the Mortgage Bankers Association have been working with MISMO to create the common templates. In 2017, ALTA formed a development workgroup to develop the templates.
 
The templates were developed through a collaborative effort across many sectors of the mortgage ecosystem, including title and settlement services companies, escrow companies, national and regional lenders, LOS vendors and document preparation vendors. ALTA’s Closing Instruction Working Group is led by James Lamphere, vice president of title and escrow for HomeServices of America, and Kate Steineman, vice president and business liaison manager for Wells Fargo.
 
The Closing Instruction Templates includes two distinct templates:
  • The Master Closing Instruction Template contains lender instructions that are common to all loans closed for that lender. It includes items such as instructions for conflicts of interest; data security and document destruction; verification of signer identity; and recording.
  • The Transactional Closing Instruction Template includes information relating to a specific loan. It includes items such as borrower contact information; property information; critical dates; and conditions and stipulations. MISMO has also developed an implementation guide to assist with the adoption of the new templates.
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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