January 13, 2021

In This Issue:

  • TLTA Legislative Update
  • TLTA Advocacy Update
  • Gov. Abbott Appoints Three to Real Estate Research Advisory Committee
  • MISMO to Prioritize eMortgages in 2021
  • Housing Industry, Consumer Groups Clash on CFPB Taskforce Results

TLTA Legislative Update

TLTA | Jan. 13, 2021
The 87th Session of the Texas Legislature commenced Tuesday, Jan. 12. The new Speaker of the Texas House, Dade Phelan, was elected, Gov. Abbott addressed both chambers with a message about the importance of working together on behalf of all Texans in the months ahead, and other opening day ceremonies were carried out as possible under coronavirus-related protocols.
The Texas Capitol is open, but visitors must receive a clear COVID-19 rapid test before they are allowed to enter the building. Once inside, there are State Preservation Board protocols that must be followed, including wearing masks. Additionally, the House and Senate have their own rules and guidelines, so visitors are finding some legislators' offices open without an appointment, while other offices require clear COVID-19 tests, appointments and more before visitors are allowed to enter.  
House and Senate rules are expected to be adopted by tomorrow, and we've been told that their general rules will include new or altered coronavirus-related protocols. If you are planning to travel to the Capitol, we encourage you to call ahead or contact us for current rules.
Additionally, it's worth noting that Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar issued the Biennial Revenue Estimate (BRE) on Monday, Jan. 11. The BRE provides direction for appropriators who are trying to determine the volume of discretionary funds available to craft the state budget for the next biennium. Every issue discussed at the Texas Capitol is impacted by the development of the state budget. And, as Comptroller Hegar hinted when he spoke at TLTA's Town Hall Meeting late last year, the BRE was stronger than expected, giving legislators more wiggle room as they work on the issues important to them and their districts. 

TLTA's legislative priorities

Our legislative priorities for the 87th Legislative Session were approved by TLTA's Board of Directors  as recommended by our Legislative Committee , which is chaired by Steve Streiff.

Bills we are monitoring

We are currently tracking the following bills of interest .

If you hear something that causes concern, or you have questions, please let us know

TLTA staff and our lobby team work under the direction of TLTA's Board of Directors  and Legislative Committee  to pursue the fulfilment of our legislative priorities, work with industry allies on broader legislative issues that could impact the real estate marketplace, and monitor all legislation filed during the legislative session. Working alongside the TLTA members who make up our corps of Local Legislative Liaisons, we maintain open lines of communication with legislators and legislative leadership, make ourselves available to answer questions, and actively work the legislative process to protect and strengthen our industry.
While our team is strong, there's always room for one more. If you hear anything about legislation or legislative activity that causes you concern, would you alert us, please? Our legislative footing is most stable when we identify and address problems early in the process, so please let us know if you hear about issues that could impact our industry, or if you have relationships with legislators or staff of which we should be aware.

TLTA Advocacy Update

TLTA | Jan. 13, 2021

Continue Collecting $2.00 Guaranty Fee

TLTA staff have received numerous inquiries about the Guaranty Fee, and we have confirmed with the Texas Title Insurance Guaranty Association (TTIGA) that the Guaranty Fee remains in place and should continue to be collected at $2.00 per policy. The TTIGA Board meets again later this month, and they can always change the fee, but we do not expect them to change the fee at this time. If they were to adopt changes to the Guaranty Fee, the changes would not take effect for 90 days at the earliest.

(NOTE: The Guaranty Fee is not the same as the GARC fee. You do not need to collect the GARC fee at this time).

New TLTA Town Hall Announced - Evan Smith - Feb. 2 - RSVP NOW

Evan Smith, CEO and co-founder of the Texas Tribune, is a perennial favorite during our annual conference, and he's agreed to join us for the upcoming installment of our Town Hall Insights Series on Feb. 2.
As our marketplace continues to be rocked by the pandemic, political turmoil, social change and more, Evan will help us make sense of the impacts of that turmoil on the Texas Legislature, our regulatory enviroment, and the Texans we serve.

All Town Hall Insights Series sessions are available to all TLTA members free of charge.
RSVP Now for the Feb. 2 Town Hall »
Submit a Question for Evan Smith »

Gov. Abbott Appoints Three to Real Estate Research Advisory Committee

Governor's Press Office | Jan. 11, 2021
Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed Vicki Fullerton and Rebecca “Becky” Vajdak and reappointed Walter F. “Ted” Nelson to the Real Estate Research Advisory Committee for terms set to expire on January 31, 2025. The committee reviews and approves proposals submitted to the board of directors of the Texas A&M University System relating to staffing and general policies of the Real Estate Center. The committee decides the priority ranking of research studies the center conducts.
Read More »

MISMO to Prioritize eMortgages in 2021

HousingWire | Jan. 8, 2021
This year, eClosings surged as remote online notarization became more popular and consumers looked for alternative ways to close on a home. Moving forward, the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization, a not-for-profit subsidiary of the Mortgage Bankers Association, will continue to focus on digital closings.

Over the final months of 2020, MISMO saw the number of companies with its RON certificate double to a total of eight companies.

As MISMO starts its new year under its first full-time president, Seth Appleton, the company was clear that the digital mortgage will be one of its top priorities.
Read More »

Housing Industry, Consumer Groups Clash on CFPB Taskforce Results

HousingWire | Jan. 7, 2021
A taskforce established by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to examine the existing legal and regulatory environment facing consumers and financial services providers released its recommendations this week – a move that prompted conflicting reactions from the housing industry and consumer groups.

The CFPB announced back in 2019 that it plans to “periodically” review its regulations and may amend or even abolish existing rules. According to the CFPB, the review of its rules is stipulated by the Regulatory Flexibility Act, which establishes that agencies should review certain rules within 10 years of their enactment and consider those rules’ impact on “small businesses.”

The CFPB’s Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law gave recommendations on how to improve consumer protection in the financial marketplace.
Read More »

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