January 15, 2020

In This Issue:

  • The Next Big Thing: Consumer Data Privacy
  • Early Voting for Special Texas House Elections Begins Monday, Jan. 21
  • New Year, New Texas Real Estate Laws
  • Deadline to Submit TRID Comments to CFPB: Jan. 21

The Next Big Thing: Consumer Data Privacy

ALTA | Jan. 8, 2020
EDITOR'S NOTE: The California privacy law discussed in this article may apply to some Texas title companies doing business in California. TLTA recommends that title agents and underwriters review their internal procedures and consult with legal counsel to ensure your business is prepared to comply with this new law.
 
To average consumers, data privacy probably seems cut and dry: nobody can see their data unless they say so. However, for companies tasked with protecting personal information, data privacy isn’t as clear-cut.
 
The push to give consumers more control over the privacy of their personal data started with passage of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which went into effect in May 2018. The GDPR was designed to modernize laws that protect the personal information of individuals in the EU.
 
On the heels of the GDPR, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is set to go into effect in January. The CCPA represents one of the most sweeping acts of legislation enacted by a U.S. state to bolster consumer privacy and marks a new beginning of stricter U.S. consumer protections.
 
There are several terms defined in California’s privacy legislation in order to clarify the parameters of the law. The provisions of the statue pertain to certain businesses and all Californian consumers, which are defined as:
  • Consumer: Natural person who is a California resident, as defined in Section 17014 of Title 18 of the California Code of Regulations. Applies even to California residents that do not seek a product or service from a company.
  • Business: Any sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation, association or “other legal entity that is organized or operated for the profit or financial benefit of its shareholders or other owners” that:
    • Collects consumer public information (PI) or determines the “purposes and means of the processing of” PI either alone or jointly with others
    • Conducts business in California
    • Satisfies one of the following thresholds:
      • Gross revenue threshold: gross revenues in excess of $25 million USD, as adjusted
      • Collection threshold: buys, receives, sells or shares PI of 50,000 or more consumers, households or devices
      • Sale threshold: derives 50 percent or more of its annual revenues from “selling” consumer personal information
Companies that already comply with the GDPR may find that they currently meet many of the requirements set forth in the CCPA.

Read More »
ALTA Data Privacy Resources »

Don't Miss This:

Next week's edition of Dateline will feature an article on consumer privacy issues facing TLTA members written by Robyn Anderson, Old Republic National Title Insurance Company's Chief Cybersecurity and Privacy Counsel. 
 

Early Voting for Special Texas House Elections Begins Monday, Jan. 21

TLTA | Jan. 14, 2020
Special elections for three vacant seats in the Texas House will by held Tuesday, Jan. 28. Early voting for these special elections begins Monday, Jan. 21:
  • Texas House District 28 seat in Fort Bend County vacated by John Zerwas
  • Texas House District 100 seat in Dallas County vacated by Eric Johnson\
  • Texas House District 148 seat in Harris County vacated by Jessica Farrar.
 
If you live in one of the communities included in these special elections and want to discuss the candidates, issues, or the impact of these special elections on the title insurance industry, please contact us
 

New Year, New Texas Real Estate Laws

Texas Realtors | Jan. 9, 2020
Several new real estate-related laws passed in 2019 by the 86th Texas Legislature took effect on Jan. 1, 2020. These include the following REALTOR-supported bills that benefit Texas real estate consumers.
 
Expanded Access to Home Equity
As of Jan. 1, property owners may now use agricultural land as collateral for a home equity loan (House Bill 1254, authored by Rep. Jim Murphy and sponsored by Sen. Kelly Hancock).
 
In 2017, voters approved a REALTOR®-supported constitutional amendment to modernize the home equity lending process for property owners. This new law further updates those provisions to allow more homeowners the ability to access the hard-earned equity in their homes while maintaining the strong consumer protections in the Texas Constitution.
 
More Transparency in Property Taxes
Several pieces of the monumental property tax reform legislation from 2019 (Senate Bill 2, authored by Sen. Paul Bettencourt and sponsored by Rep. Dustin Burrows) took effect Jan. 1 to be in place for the 2020 tax year:
  • Changes the rollback rate from 8% for local taxing entities and gives voters more of a say in the tax rates that determine property tax bills
    • Most cities and counties will be subject to a 3.5% rollback rate
    • Most cities and counties will have automatic elections if they exceed the rollback rate
  • Renames the “effective rate” to the “no-new-revenue tax rate” and renames the “rollback rate” to the “voter-approval tax rate,” clarifying what these important tax rates mean for taxpayers
  • Requires central appraisal districts to create online databases to provide more information to taxpayers. (CADs in counties with less than 200,000 population have until the 2021 tax year to comply.) The databases will or the following:
    • Show property owners how proposed tax rate changes would affect their bills
    • Make it easy for taxpayers to submit comments via an online form
    • Provide information about when and where a property owner’s local taxing entities
Property Tax Exemption
A new law provides a temporary property tax exemption for property owners in areas that have been declared disasters by the governor. This will help property owners struggling in the wake of disaster and provide these taxpayers more immediate relief.
 
Read More »
 

Deadline to Submit TRID Comments to CFPB: Jan. 21

TLTA Is Submitting Comments; Please Share Ideas You Want TLTA to Include in Our Comment Packet
ALTA | Nov. 26, 2019
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has requested public comment on its plans to conduct an assessment of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 (RESPA) Integrated Disclosure Rule and certain related amendments (TRID Rule). Comments are due Jan. 21.
 
As part of its assessment, the Bureau intends to address, among other relevant factors, the TRID Rule's effectiveness in meeting the purposes and objectives of Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act and the specific goals of the TRID Rule.
 
CFPB invited the public to comment on the feasibility and effectiveness of the assessment plan, recommendations to improve the assessment plan, and recommendations for modifying, expanding, or eliminating the TRID Rule, among other questions. 
  
Review the Request for Information » 
  
TLTA is submitting comments to CFPB regarding needed improvements in the rule and form. If you have ideas that should be included among the comments we submit to CFPB, please email your input to tlta@tlta.com.  
  
If you have concerns or questions, please call us at 512.472.6593 or email tlta@tlta.com.

 

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.