December 16, 2020

In This Issue:

  • TLTA Advocacy Update
  • Fannie Mae Extends Relaxed Appraisal, Lending Standards
  • CFPB Completes Overhaul of Two QM Loan Rules
  • Use of RON Increased Substantially in 2020
  • FHA Reminder: Wire Transfers Not Accepted to Pay Off Reverse Mortgages, Partial Claims

TLTA Advocacy Update

TLTA | Dec. 16, 2020

TLTA Board of Directors Approves Legislative Agenda at Dec. 15 Meeting

TLTA's Legislative Committee, chaired by Steve Streiff, met Dec. 10 to finalize our legislative agenda for the upcoming session of the Texas Legislature, which commences in January. At the TLTA Board of Directors meeting Dec. 15, the board approved two legislative agenda items, including one that if passed would effectively create a statute of limitations to provide that a quitclaim deed in the chain of title would not defeat bona fide purchaser status for subsequent transferees of the property after a period of time.
The second item on our legislative agenda for the upcoming 87th Session of the Texas Legislature would create a period of certainty to rely upon a homestead affidavit as a release of an abstract of judgment lien against a property, which would allow for these transactions to close while balancing the interests of creditors.
As noted in previous editions of Dateline, the leaders of the Texas Senate and House have indicated that there will be reduced access to the Capitol this session, and big issues like the state budget and redistricting will likely be the Legislature's focus under these difficult conditions. Those limitations were taken into account as we identified our legislative priorities for the upcoming legislative session.

Additional Preparation for the 87th Texas Legislature

TLTA staff met this week with the legislative team from the County and District Clerks Association of Texas to discuss the upcoming legislative session, our respective legislative priorities, and how we can best work together on issues of common concern.

2021 Real Estate Outlook and Texas Homebuilding Forecast - Tomorrow, Dec. 17 - RSVP NOW

Join us tomorrow, Dec. 17, for the next installment of TLTA's Town Hall Insights Series.
The National Association of Realtors' Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, will headline this Town Hall event, providing a Texas-focused outlook on the economy and real estate market, including recent developments in the housing market, comparison of past housing cycles with our current cycle, and more. 
Scott Norman, Executive Director of the Texas Association of Builders, will provide insights on new home inventories in Texas and how that will affect the residential real estate market in the year ahead. 
All Town Hall Insights Series sessions are available to all TLTA members free of charge.
RSVP Now »
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Submit a Question for Scott Norman »

TDI Statistical Data Report for 2018, Data Call for 2019

We can expect to see 2018 statistical data published early in 2021. No date has been set yet for collection of 2019 statistical data.
We remain in close communication with TDI about this. We are monitoring the 2019 data call closely, and as soon as it is issued you’ll receive notification from us.

Fannie Mae Extends Relaxed Appraisal, Lending Standards

HousingWire | Dec. 11, 2020
Mortgage giant Fannie Mae extended its relaxed lending and appraisal standards put in place due to COVID-19 into the new year.

The flexibilities surrounding verbal verification of employment and appraisals were originally set to expire on Dec. 31, 2020, however Fannie Mae is now pushing that back to at least Jan. 31, 2021.

“We are extending the temporary flexibilities related to verbal verifications of employment and power of attorney to loans with application dates on or before Jan. 31, 2021 from Dec. 31, 2020,” Fannie Mae said in a letter to lenders.

And in a separate letter, Fannie Mae made the same announcement for flexibilities surrounding appraisals.
Read More »

CFPB Completes Overhaul of Two QM Loan Rules

Mortgage Professional America | Dec. 7, 2020
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has finalized two proposed rules that change the lending requirements for qualified mortgage (QM) loans, in an effort to maximize consumer access and affordability.

In June, the bureau proposed extending the so-called GSE or QM Patch, which allows Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to relax some underwriting requirements of the Ability to Repay/Qualified Mortgage (ATR/QM) rule.

The first final QM rule replaces the GSE Patch before its scheduled expiration on Jan. 10, 2020.

The new rule adopts a “price-based” approach to replace the 43% debt-to-income (DTI) ratio requirement for general QM loans. This tactic, according to the agency, is “more holistic” since a loan’s price is “a more flexible measure of a consumer’s ability to repay than DTI alone.”

Use of RON Increased Substantially in 2020

ALTA | Dec. 7, 2020
A survey conducted by the American Land Title Association of major vendors working in the Remote Online Notary (RON) space indicated use of RON has increased 547% during 2020 when compared to 2019.
This increase can be attributed to heightened demand for RON during the pandemic, coupled with the fact that 29 states have now passed permanent laws authorizing the use of RON.
Today, RON is being utilized most extensively in Florida, Texas, and Virginia. Additionally, use of this technology is trending up significantly in Midwestern states. A decade ago, Virginia became the first state to enact a RON law. Texas approved RON legislation in 2017. Adoption of RON in Florida has been rapid since the state passed legislation in 2019.
Notarizations are used extensively in real estate transactions on documents like deeds, mortgages, lien releases, and frequently for home equity loans. Many RON providers focus their business exclusively in this space. While RON provides homebuyers a convenient experience and can be used to execute a fully digital mortgage, this technology is also utilized for affidavits, powers of attorney, living trusts and advanced health care directives. Firms offering remote notarizations to a broader base of customers indicate 75% of their business is non-real estate related. Being able to remotely notarize documents during the pandemic—whether real estate or not— has been critical to keeping people safe and promoting social distancing.

FHA Reminder: Wire Transfers Not Accepted to Pay Off Reverse Mortgages, Partial Claims

ALTA | Dec. 8, 2020
On Dec. 8, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) issued a bulletin reminding lenders and settlement agents that it does not accept wire transfers to pay off Secretary-held Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs) and partial claims. The announcement was made after the FHA noticed an uptick in fraudsters attempting to use business email compromise to steal reverse mortgage payoffs.
Read the Bulletin from FHA » 

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