December 2, 2020

In This Issue:

  • TLTA Advocacy Update
  • 87th Texas Legislature News
  • Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Conforming Loan Limits Increase for 2021
  • Lawmakers Clinch Deal on Decade-Long Fight Against Shell Companies
  • It's Not Too Late to Register for Texas Land Title Institute – All Presentations and CE Hours Available to Registrants On-Demand Through Jan. 15, 2021

TLTA Advocacy Update

TLTA | Dec. 1, 2020

TLTA's Data Privacy Advisory Group to Meet This Week

TLTA's newly formed Data Privacy Advisory Group  will meet this week to discuss and monitor legislation during the upcoming 87th Session of the Texas Legislature.

TLTA's Data Privacy Advisory Group is working with TLTA's Legislative Committee  and TLTA staff to ensure that all perspectives are included when evaluating potential privacy legislation.
The Data Privacy Advisory Group and our Legislative Committee continue monitoring response to a report produced earlier this year by the Texas Privacy Protection Advisory Council. The Council, a creation of the Texas Legislature, is responsible for conducting a global study of privacy laws related to the protection of identifiable information connected to a specific individual, technological device, or household. The council is also responsible for reporting any recommendations for statutory changes intended to enhance data security to the Texas Legislature.
Review TLTA's Answer to the Texas Privacy Protection Council's Questionnaire »  

Mark Your Calendar: TLTA's Town Hall Insights Series Continues Dec. 17 with Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors

TLTA's Town Hall Insights Series continues later this month with a special presentation Dec. 17 by the National Association of Realtors' Chief Economist and Senior VP of Research, Lawrence Yun.
Mr. Yun's presentation, Economic and Real Estate Market Outlook, is a Texas-focused discussion of the following:
  • Recent developments in the housing market
  • The direction of home prices in the next 12 to 24 months
  • Comparisons with past housing cycles
  • Economic backdrop
  • Forecast of economy and housing market
TLTA's Town Hall Insights Series features the latest, timely info you need to navigate the unprecedented and challenging marketplace we're operating in. Mark your calendar Dec. 17, and keep an eye out for an email from TLTA with RSVP info and the opportunity to submit questions to Mr. Yun prior to the event. 
All Town Hall Insights Series sessions are available to all TLTA members free of charge.

87th Texas Legislature News

Despite Staggering Pandemic Losses, Texas Budget Forecast Better Than Expected, State Comptroller Says

Texas Tribune | Nov. 30, 2020
Despite “historic declines,” state lawmakers will have more money to work with in the upcoming legislative session than Comptroller Glenn Hegar expected over the summer, he said Monday. But Hegar did not outline specifics as state coffers continue to suffer from the economic recession spurred by the coronavirus pandemic.
Sales tax revenues, by far the largest part of the state budget, fell by 4.8% in the second half of the 2020 fiscal year compared with the same stretch last year, Hegar said. It was a much softer hit than he anticipated, thanks to Texans staying home and spending money on “staycations instead of vacations.”
Other revenue streams, such as taxes related to alcohol, hotel occupancy, and oil and gas, were down more than 40% in the same period this year compared with last, Hegar told lawmakers Monday during a Legislative Budget Board meeting at the Capitol.
Read More »

Key Texas House Leader Says Capitol Occupancy May Be Limited in Upcoming Legislative Session

Texas Tribune | Dec. 1, 2020
In the most detailed public glimpse yet at how the 2021 legislative session might play out during a pandemic, the chair of the committee that handles administrative operations in the Texas House told a group of lobbyists Tuesday that masks may be required in all public parts of the Texas Capitol and that a limit could be placed on the number of people allowed inside the building.

State Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, listed a number of details during a presentation to the Professional Advocacy Association of Texas, a lobbyist and government affairs group. He also said that the House was looking at remote voting options for the chamber’s 150 members, which would allow lawmakers to vote on bills from elsewhere inside the building if they decide to not be present on the floor.

Geren said people entering the Capitol during the session will likely be tested and that lawmakers might require visitors to schedule appointments before arriving. They can limit the risks, he said, but can’t expect to completely prevent COVID-19 cases.
Read More »

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Conforming Loan Limits Increase for 2021

HousingWire | Nov. 24, 2020
The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced a new baseline conforming loan limit for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2021: $548,250.

This is a 7.5% increase from 2020’s limit of $510,400 and marks the fifth consecutive year of increases from the FHFA. In 2016, the FHFA increased the Fannie and Freddie conforming loan limits for the first time in 10 years, and since then, the baseline loan limit has gone up by $131,250.

The conforming loan limits for Fannie and Freddie are determined by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, which established the baseline loan limit at $417,000 and mandated that, after a period of price declines, the baseline loan limit cannot rise again until home prices return to pre-decline levels.

Lawmakers Clinch Deal on Decade-Long Fight Against Shell Companies

Politico | Nov. 25, 2020
The most sweeping overhaul of financial crime safeguards in decades is poised to be attached to must-pass defense legislation in the coming weeks — a product of behind-the-scenes negotiations between lawmakers and Trump administration officials who are usually at odds.
The legislation, hammered out by progressive Democrats, conservative Republicans and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, would require millions of business entities to reveal their owners to the federal government in an attempt to deter the use of anonymous shell companies by criminals evading anti-money laundering rules.
The deal, which was negotiated by a group including House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Senate Banking Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), follows years of lobbying by transparency advocates who were able to convince big banks and other business groups to join the cause.
Read More »

It's Not Too Late to Register for Texas Land Title Institute – All Presentations and CE Hours Available to Registrants On-Demand Through Jan. 15, 2021

TLTA | Dec. 1, 2020
We are celebrating Texas Land Title Institute’s 30th year of helping real estate attorneys and advanced title pros master our industry's most complicated legal challenges, and we are excited to let you know that all registrants for our 2020 Virtual Institute will have on-demand access to all presentations and CE hours through Jan. 15, 2020.
That's right – this year’s virtual format provides you with access to all presentations and course materials through Jan. 15, so if your schedule changes and you can’t watch all of it live, you’ll still be able to make the most of your investment in Texas' premier educational tool for real estate attorneys and advanced title professionals.
The following CE hours have been approved for this year's Institute:
  • Escrow Officers: up to 10 hours general escrow credit and 2 hours of escrow ethics credit
  • Attorneys* - 15 hours MCLE credit (including 3 Ethics hours) *includes 1 hour self-study paper
  • Also approved for 14 hours in the area of Real Estate by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • Paralegals - 14 hours CLE credit. Allowed credit through the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • Real Estate Brokers - 9 hours MCE credit
Learn More or Register for 2020 Virtual Institute Now » 

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