November 13, 2019

In This Issue:

  • Underwriters: TDI Proposes 2020 Maintenance Fees and Assessments
  • TLTA Submits Amicus Letter in Case Before Supreme Court of Texas
  • Governor Abbott Appoints Five Texans to Texas Privacy Protection Advisory Council
  • FinCEN Reissues Real Estate GTOs for 12 Metropolitan Areas, Including Bexar, Tarrant and Dallas Counties
  • Texas Realtor Legal Q&A: Who Gets to Pick the Title Company That Will Issue the Owner Policy?

Underwriters: TDI Proposes 2020 Maintenance Fees and Assessments

Texas Department of Insurance | Nov. 8, 2019
The Texas Department of Insurance published proposed maintenance fees and assessments for 2019 that would affect underwriters. The proposed fees for 2020 are lowered from .078 of 1 percent to .068 of 1 percent.
 
Written comments on this proposal should be submitted no later than 5 p.m. on Dec. 9, 2019.
 
Send your comments to ChiefClerk@tdi.texas.gov; or to the Office of the Chief Clerk, MC 112-2A, Texas Department of Insurance, P.O. Box 149104, Austin, Texas 78714-9104.
 
Read TDI's Proposal »
 

TLTA Submits Amicus Letter in Case Before Supreme Court of Texas

TLTA | Nov. 12, 2019
An amicus letter from TLTA to the Supreme Court of Texas was filed this week asking the Court to uphold the centuries-old subrogation doctrine, which is being challenged by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation v. Zepeda case.
 
The subrogation doctrine is fundamental to the Texas title insurance industry. Through subrogation, when a new lender pays off a prior lien, it “steps into the shoes” of the prior lien position to the extent, and only to the extent, of the discharged lien. If the Court rules in this case that forfeiture under the Texas Constitution abrogates the subrogation doctrine, then TLTA requested clarification and guidance from the Court regarding the conditions under which subrogation will or will not be recognized, so lenders and title insurance companies can decide whether to make or insure a loan.
 
Specifically, if the rule is to be different where the lender has an “opportunity” to cure the defect but does not, TLTA asked the Court to provide a bright-line rule which will allow the real estate industry the certainty it requires. Uncertainty as to when and how subrogation does or does not apply to such a “missed opportunity” – something that is not of record – will create new challenges in examining title and relying on recorded documents.

Read the Amicus Letter »
 
TLTA's Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by Leslie Johnson, is responsible for recommending to our board of directors TLTA's position on court decisions that could affect the defense of title companies and title agents.
 
TLTA Judiciary Committee Members »


Governor Abbott Appoints Five Texans to Texas Privacy Protection Advisory Council

TLTA | Nov. 4, 2019
The Texas Privacy Protection Advisory Council, which was created by the 86th Texas Legislature earlier this year, is tasked with studying and making recommendations to the Texas Legislature regarding the privacy and protection of information linked to individuals, devices and households. For title companies and other organizations that handle customers' personal information, any recommendations made by this committee could impact business operations and liability.

Gov. Abbott recently appointed Bart Huffman, Justin Koplow, Jeanette “Jeannie” White, Lemuel Williams, Jr., and Michael Wyatt to serve on the newly-formed committee.
 
Learn More »
 

FinCEN Reissues Real Estate GTOs for 12 Metropolitan Areas, Including Bexar, Tarrant and Dallas Counties

U.S. Treasury | Nov. 8, 2019
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) today announced the renewal of its Geographic Targeting Orders (GTOs) that require U.S. title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind shell companies used in all-cash purchases of residential real estate. The purchase amount threshold remains $300,000 for each covered metropolitan area.

These renewed GTOs will be identical to the May 2019 GTOs with one modification: the new GTOs will not require reporting for purchases made by legal entities that are U.S. publicly-traded companies. Real estate purchases by such entities are identifiable through other business filings.

The terms of this Order are effective beginning Nov. 12, 2019 and ending on May 9, 2020.
 
Read the Press Release »
Copy of the GTO »
FAQs »
Read an Article From ALTA » 
 

Texas Realtor Legal Q&A: Who Gets to Pick the Title Company That Will Issue the Owner Policy?

Texas Realtor Magazine | Nov. 1, 2019
Who gets to pick the title company that will issue the owner policy of title insurance? It depends.
 
If the seller pays for both the owner policy and the lender policy of title insurance, the seller can pick the title company without violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). However, if the buyer pays for the owner policy, the seller cannot condition the sale of the property on the buyer purchasing the owner policy from a particular title company. Rather, the buyer would get to pick the title company. In situations where the seller pays for the owner policy and the buyer pays for the lender policy, RESPA application is less clear. 
 
Learn More »

 

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