August 26, 2020

In This Issue:

  • Texas Finance Commission Formally Adopts Revised Payoff Statement With TLTA Recommendations; Effective Date to Come
  • TLTA Advocacy: Work in Progress Report
  • MISMO Announces Call for Participants for Workgroup to Enable Digitization of Closing Instructions
  • GAO Says FinCEN Should Enhance Procedures for Implementing and Evaluating GTOs

Texas Finance Commission Formally Adopts Revised Payoff Statement With TLTA Recommendations; Effective Date to Come

Texas Land Title Association | Aug. 25, 2020
The Texas Finance Commission's (TFC) re-proposal of the payoff statement that will be used by the Texas Department of Banking, the Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending (DSML), and the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner was formally adopted by TFC on Aug. 21. The commission will now identify an effective date, which is expected to be published in the Texas Register soon. When the effective date is announced, we will share that news with you.   
  
In September 2019, the Finance Commission took up an initial payoff statement proposal and sought comments. TLTA provided comments and has been working with DSML staff to address TLTA's concerns with the initial proposal.   
  
The revised payoff statement proposal adopted Aug. 21 incorporated the revisions TLTA requested, including the addition of the "Loan Number" and "Original Loan Amount," so escrow officers will be able to better distinguish between multiple loans on the same piece of property. The addition of this information should make it easier to determine appropriate pay-off amounts and decrease the opportunity for human error. 
  
Review the Revised Payoff Statement Adopted by the Commission Aug. 21 »

TLTA Advocacy: Work in Progress Report

Texas Land Title Association | Aug. 25, 2020
TLTA staff Leslie Midgley and Aaron Day met with TDI staff last week as part of a regular quarterly meeting schedule. TDI’s participants represent the various areas within the agency that handle title insurance matters, including legal, licensing, audit and financial. Both TLTA and TDI staff provided updates on timely matters. TDI staff is working remotely during the COVID-19 public health emergency but continuing to handle their jobs seamlessly. TDI staff reported that there are now almost 650 licensed agents in Texas – a record high. ICYMI, be sure to review TLTA’s compliance checklist, which includes upcoming TDI deadlines and more.
 
Representatives from TLTA and the Texas Mortgage Bankers Association (TMBA), are informally discussing how best to work together to provide information and education regarding the increased adoption of digital closings and RON under COVID-19. Our industries see need among our respective members for more education and training on digital closing tools. We’ll report more as our coordinated work continues to develop. 
 
The TLTA Basic Manual Task Force  resumed work last week after a few month break. This group has been hard at work for five years and are now working on a plain language draft of the Basic Manual. Later this fall, TLTA will roll out a draft version of the committee’s proposed reformatting of the Basic Manual for your review and input – stay tuned!
 
The TLTA Regulatory Committee  will hold their first meeting in September to discuss rulemaking proposals to be submitted to TDI. If you are interested in serving on this group (they address issues that impact your business), it’s not too late. Email Brandon@tlta.com to volunteer for this important committee.

MISMO Announces Call for Participants for Workgroup to Enable Digitization of Closing Instructions

ALTA | Aug. 25, 2020
The Mortgage Industry Standard Maintenance Organization (MISMO) announced a call for industry experts to participate in a working group to enable the digitization of closing instructions. Earlier this year, MISMO released master and transactional closing instruction templates. The new standards bring needed efficiencies to the closing process including reduced fee refunds, lower operational overhead, reduced compliance and loan salability risk, and enhanced consumer experience.
 
Read More »
 

GAO Says FinCEN Should Enhance Procedures for Implementing and Evaluating GTOs 

U.S. Government Accountability Office | Aug. 13, 2020
Money launderers use ill-gotten gains to buy real estate with cash—often through legal entities like shell companies—to help hide their identities and sources of funds. Avoiding banks also avoids the monitoring and reporting of real estate purchases under programs designed to identify potential money laundering. To help close this regulatory gap, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a “geographic targeting order” to collect information on certain U.S. real estate transactions.
 
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found FinCEN lacked adequate procedures to effectively and efficiently implement such orders, and published recommendations to address this issue.
 
Read More » 

TLTA's professional education department is pleased to offer these upcoming, live webinars:
Foreclosure Refresher (Thursday, Aug. 27, 1:30 p.m. - Intermediate)
FIRPTA for Escrow Officers (Tuesday, Sept. 1, 10:30 a.m. - Intermediate)

And don't forget, our library of more than 80 On-Demand webinars and videos covers the title industry topics you need to earn continuing education hours and stay ahead of the curve on the latest industry trends!

Check out these new additions to our on-demand video library, which were recorded during the 2020 Virtual Annual Conference and Business Meeting: