July 1, 2020

In This Issue:

  • BREAKING NEWS: Gov. Abbott Grants TLTA's Request for Extension of Emergency RIN Order
  • Supreme Court Recognizes President's Power to Fire CFPB Chief
  • COVID-19 Compliance Update: TDI Extends Modified Requirements for Sworn Statements
  • ICYMI: TLTA Submitted Letter to TREC Broker Lawyer Committee Proposing Changes to Termination Option Language Included in TREC Forms
  • 2020 Virtual Conference: Meet Face-to-Face With Vendors Who Specialize in Tools You Need to Succeed, Including Digital Closing and More

BREAKING NEWS: Gov. Abbott Grants TLTA's Request for Extension of Emergency RIN Order

TLTA | June 30, 2020
On Monday, June 29, TLTA sent a letter to Gov. Abbott requesting he modify the emergency executive action that allows the temporary use of Remote Ink Notarization (RIN) in Texas. On Tuesday, June 30, the governor’s office informed us that they have granted our request for an indefinite extension.
 
In the TLTA request approved by the governor on Tuesday, June 30, we asked the governor to modify the temporary suspension of state notary statute that allows for RIN by extending the termination date of that suspension to mirror the governor's April 9 order addressing remote notarizations for a self-proved will, a durable power of attorney, a medical power of attorney, a directive to physician, or an oath of an executor, administrator, or guardian. The RIN extension granted by Gov. Abbott on Tuesday accomplishes our request, extending the emergency use of RIN until terminated by the Office of the Governor or until the March 13, 2020 disaster declaration is lifted or expires. 
 
Giving Texas consumers the opportunity to continue choosing RIN until we are clear of this unprecedented public health threat will further enhance our industry's ability to serve the public with great efficiency and safety. Since the governor granted our original request, title professionals have worked within the guidelines made part of the suspension with success and confidence in its security, helping ensure the integrity of real estate transactions statewide.
 
We are grateful that the governor granted our request, and we salute his leadership during this unprecedented public health crisis.
 
Following TLTA's initial request in late April, Gov. Abbott temporarily suspended traditional notary regulations to allow for temporary use of RIN under COVID-19 public health protocols. Under RIN, a "wet signature" is still used, but the signature is witnessed by a notary via video and audio channels, and the notary seal is affixed at a later time.

Learn more about the temporary use of RIN under COVID-19 public health protocols.


Supreme Court Recognizes President's Power to Fire CFPB Chief

NPR | June 29, 2020
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the president can fire at will the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau but left intact the rest of the statute that created the agency. Congress created the independent agency in 2010 to protect consumers from abuses in the banking and financial services industry that led to the 2008 financial meltdown.

In order to ensure the CFPB's independence, the law creating the agency called for it to be headed by a single director, confirmed by the Senate, who would serve a five-year term and who could only be fired for malfeasance, inefficiency or neglect of duty.

That independent structure was challenged by the Trump administration, and a firm that was being investigated by the CFPB for misleading financial practices. Both claimed that the limits on the president's power to fire the agency head were unconstitutional, and on Monday the Supreme Court agreed.

The decision was a victory for President Trump and for forces in the business community that have long sought to trim the sails of independent regulatory agencies, from the CFPB to multimember-led agencies, among them the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Communications Commission and many more.

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts said "the CFPB's leadership by a single individual removable only for inefficiency, neglect, or malfeasance violates the separation of powers."

But the court did not go as far as the challengers had wanted, limiting the decision to the single-director structure of the CFPB. Roberts wrote: "The CFPB Director's removal protection is severable from the other statutory provisions bearing on the CFPB's authority. The agency may therefore continue to operate, but its Director, in light of our decision, must be removable by the President at will."
 
Read More »
 

COVID-19 Compliance Update: TDI Extends Modified Requirements for Sworn Statements

TDI | June 29, 2020
TDI recently updated their modified filings chart with deadline extensions attributable to COVID-19.
  
On Monday, June 29, TDI announced that the window of time during which the financial and licensing filings identified in the modified filings chart could be submitted without sworn statements, affidavits and notarization was further extended from June 30 to July 31. 
  
Title Agent / Escrow Officer: Annual Audit of Trust Fund Accounts, Licensing Forms  
Review the filings that can be submitted without sworn statements, affidavits and notarizations. If you have questions about title agent and escrow officer licensing filings, please email TDI-TitleLicensing@tdi.texas.gov.
 
Corporate and Financial Filing  
Review the filings that can be submitted without sworn statements, affidavits and notarizations. If you have questions about financial filing requirements, please email FIN-GM@tdi.texas.gov
 

ICYMI: TLTA Submitted Letter to TREC Broker Lawyer Committee Proposing Changes to Termination Option Language Included in TREC Forms

TLTA | June 29, 2020
As reported in the Feb. 12 edition of Dateline, TLTA submitted a letter to the Texas Real Estate Commission’s (TREC) Broker Lawyer Committee regarding proposed changes to the termination option language included in TREC contract forms.  
 
The letter, which was drafted in response to concerns raised by TLTA’s Regulatory Committee in 2019, proposes revising Paragraph 23 to remove the “Option Fee” and instead have a portion of the earnest money provide the previous function of the option fee, as is the case in many commercial transactions today.
 
We continue working with the Texas Realtors and other stakeholders as they consider our proposed change. When we know more, we'll alert you immediately. 
 
Read TLTA's Letter to TREC's Broker-Lawyer Committee »
 

 

2020 Virtual Conference: Meet Face-to-Face With Vendors Who Specialize in Tools You Need to Succeed, Including Digital Closing and More

TLTA | June 30, 2020
As you and other title industry professionals continue navigating a challenging marketplace, your success is bolstered, in part, by choosing the right tools to put to work for your clients. 
 
At our 2020 Virtual Annual Conference and Business Meeting , you'll learn the latest about the products and services that are shaping and growing your businesses, our industry, and more. Network face-to-face via webcam and microphone at vendor booths in the Sponsor Marketplace. Or, review vendor leave-behinds, gather contact information, and register for prize drawings in the Sponsor Gallery. Whether you make connections in the Marketplace or the Gallery, you won't want to miss this chance to develop business opportunities that could last a lifetime. 
 

The Sponsor Marketplace pictured above is where attendees will network with sponsors face-to-face. Just access the Marketplace via your computer's web browser, click on a sponsor's table, and connect via video and audio with our exciting collection of sponsors.
 
Register for Conference Now »
Learn More » 

In addition to the live webinars listed below, you have access to 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!