September 30, 2020

In This Issue:

  • TDI Commissioner Kent Sullivan: Thank You for Making My Time at TDI Memorable
  • TLTA Regulatory Committee Meets, Discusses Basic Manual Rule and Form Changes
  • There's Still Time to Answer TLTA's RON, RIN Survey; Initial Observations From Responses Submitted To-Date
  • Fannie, Freddie Pose Risk to Financial System, Panel Says In 'Historic' Finding
  • Federal Regulators Finalize Appraisal and Capital Liquidity Rules

TDI Commissioner Kent Sullivan: Thank You for Making My Time at TDI Memorable

Texas Department of Insurance | Sept. 29, 2020
Shortly after Hurricane Harvey ravaged the Texas coast in 2017, Governor Abbott asked me to lead TDI. It was a challenging time, but it was an honor to serve.
As I look back, I’m a bit surprised that my short-term assignment turned into a three-year mission. But the agency’s work touches almost every Texan, and I had staff willing to roll up their sleeves and improve our corner of government. I’m grateful for their hard work and commitment to public service.

Today the agency answers calls, issues licenses, and resolves consumer complaints dramatically faster. We’ve reduced our reliance on paper, streamlined rule development, and undergone major organizational restructuring. We just launched an artificial intelligence project that holds the promise of transforming policy form reviews for Texas and other states. And we transitioned most of our employees to telecommuting status over a single weekend without missing a beat.

I have a basic belief that government should work for people. It should focus on delivering essential services – and doing it effectively. It should be less risk-adverse and more willing to adopt new technology and proven best practices. It should not rest on its monopoly status and instead measure itself against the best of the private sector to make sure it’s fulfilling its duty to provide the highest level of service to citizens.
Read More of Commissioner Sullivan's Farewell Letter »
ICYMI: Commissioner Sullivan recently participated in an interview during which he answered the question, "After three years at TDI, what advice do you have for Texans?"

Watch Commissioner Sullivan's Interview »

TLTA Editor's Note: Gov. Abbott has not named Commissioner Sullivan's successor, but we are monitoring the discussions closely and will share info on Sullivan's replacement when an announcement is made.

TLTA Regulatory Committee Meets, Discusses Basic Manual Rule and Form Changes

TLTA | Sept. 28, 2020
TLTA's Regulatory Committee , chaired by Roland Love, met by phone last week. The group reviewed and discussed a package of potential rule and form changes to the Basic Manual. These proposals are still in the works and have not been submitted to TDI yet. Once these items are more finalized, we’ll provide a full report here in Dateline. The committee also discussed some new ideas that will be further studied in subcommittees.
We welcome all the industry expertise and input we can get when working on these important matters that affect how you do business. If you are interested in being part of our Regulatory Committee, please contact and he’ll add you to the group.

There's Still Time to Answer TLTA's RON, RIN Survey; Initial Observations From Survey Responses Submitted To-Date

TLTA | Sept. 30, 2020
In last week's edition of Dateline we noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has expanded use of remote notarization in Texas, and we asked you to answer three brief questions about your use of RON and RIN closings over the last 90 days. There's still time to respond, so please take a moment to answer our quick survey. Thank you to all who have responded so far – here's a snapshot of what we're learning from the early responses gathered to-date:
In line with our continued observations of the marketplace, adoption of RON remains slow. It takes time and expertise to learn the technology and handle RON closings. Limited acceptance by lenders remains the biggest hurdle to implementation of this tool (Lenders for the most part not allowing borrowers to sign electronically), and the majority of RON closings are used on the seller side or cash transactions. RON can be beneficial for out of county or out of state sellers, and it will continue to expand but slowly. We continue to see only minimal adoption of true digital closings with e-note and e-deed of trust.
RIN has been helpful in some cases as a temporary solution for those unwilling to leave their homes during the pandemic, but is generally used in limited cases only.
Again, we appreciate those who took time to respond. If you didn’t complete the survey, here it is, and we’d still love to have your feedback to add to the data. TLTA will continue to monitor the use of technology in notarizations and closings and will provide education and resources to help equip you for the changing landscape.
Read More About TLTA's Work on the Development of RON in Texas »
Read More About TLTA's Work on the Emergency Use of RIN in Texas »

Fannie, Freddie Pose Risk to Financial System, Panel Says In 'Historic' Finding

Politico | Sept. 25, 2020
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-run companies that stand behind about half of the $11 trillion U.S. mortgage market, pose a potential danger to the stability of the broader financial system, a Treasury-led panel said Friday.

The companies still do not have enough capital to protect themselves from the massive risk in their portfolios, the Financial Stability Oversight Council concluded following a long-awaited review of the secondary mortgage market, where investors purchase home loans.

The council, which consists of all the government's top financial regulators, endorsed a proposal to raise capital requirements for Fannie and Freddie, saying it would go a long way toward mitigating the peril looming over the system.
Read More »

Federal Regulators Finalize Appraisal and Capital Liquidity Rules

HousingWire | Sept. 29, 2020
The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency finalized two rules on Tuesday that were initiated in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These include one that temporarily defers appraisal and evaluation requirements for up to 120 days after the closing of certain residential and commercial real estate transactions, the release said. This rule will expire on Dec. 31 this year.

Announced in April, this rule applies only to loans kept in a bank’s portfolio, and originally alarmed appraisers. It allows individuals and businesses to quickly access real estate equity to help address needs for liquidity as a result of COVID-19.

The second rule is one that neutralizes the regulatory capital and liquidity effects for banks that participate in certain Federal Reserve liquidity facilities, due to the lack of credit and market risk.

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!