February 3, 2021

In This Issue:

  • TLTA Legislative Update
  • TDI News
  • Gov. Abbott Appoints Three to Real Estate Research Advisory Committee
  • FHA Provides Struggling Borrowers Additional Time to Seek Forbearance

TLTA Legislative Update

TLTA | Feb. 3, 2021

During Gov. Abbott's State of the State address earlier this week, he designated five emergency items that the Texas Legislature may vote on within the first 60 days of the 87th Legislative Session:
  • COVID-related civil liability protection for businesses
  • expanding broadband internet access
  • election integrity
  • prevent local governments from "defunding the police"
  • bail system reform
Once House Committees are named (Speaker Phelan indicated at a recent event we could expect to see members' committee assignments sometime this week), we can expect public hearings on bills related to the issues listed above, as well as a general increase in the volume of legislative activity in general. 
It is worth noting that the Senate Finance Committee will start their hearings on the state budget next week. As previously reported, passing a state budget, or General Appropriations Act (GAA), is the only assignment that legislators must complete every session, and all issues being debated in the Capitol are impacted by appropriators' decisions about state funding for the upcoming biennium.

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. These statutory changes would improve real estate transactions. Look for more detailed analysis in the very near future on the two bills that TLTA is championing this Session.

Bills we are monitoring

We are currently tracking the following bills of interest . If these bills begin to move through the process and TLTA takes official positions on them, we’ll provide more detailed information about our stance and how they might affect you and your business.

Questions about TLTA's legislative process and how you can get involved?

The TLTA Legislative Committee, our Local Legislative Liaisons, our Grassroots Network and our PAC Board of Governors are all part of our team of engaged legislative advocates. Learn More About TLTA's Legislative Process and How You Can Get Involved »

TDI News

TDI adopts updated T-51 form - Purchaser/Seller Insured Closing Service Letter

TLTA | Feb. 1, 2021
On Friday, Jan. 29, the Texas Department of Insurance announced they have adopted an updated version of Form T-51 (Purchaser/Seller Insured Closing Service Letter).
Form T-51, which is part of the Basic Manual, is an insured closing letter that protects the buyer or seller if escrow funds are lost because of fraud or dishonesty by a title agent. Under Insurance Code §2702.002, Form T-51 can only be given if the sales price of real estate is more than the maximum amount for a covered claim under the Texas Title Insurance Guaranty Association Act (TTIGA Act).
The updated Form T-51 shows the threshold amount for a claim on the T-51 is now $500,000. The previous threshold was $250,000. The maximum amount of coverage by TTIGA was increased by the Texas Legislature when they passed HB 1614 during their 86th Session in 2019.
The passage of HB 1614 was part of the affirmative legislative agenda TLTA pursued and helped pass during the 86th Legislative Session. 
Download the New T-51 Form »
Read the Announcement From TDI »


Underwriters: Form T-S4 due now

TLTA | Feb. 3, 2021
The Texas Department of Insurance has asked us to remind underwriters that it's time to submit the annual Form T-S4 to TDI.
As a reminder, Form T-S4 is the Annual Report of Title Company's Officers Authorized to Provide Information on Financial Matters. The form must be submitted annually between Jan. 1-31.
Please note: This form should only be completed and submitted by underwriters. Submit your completed form to: TitleExaminations@tdi.texas.gov
If you have questions about Form T-S4, please contact Arturo Bustamante.

TDI updates fee transmittal forms

TDI | Feb. 2, 2021
The Texas Department of Insurance has updated its forms to reflect the elimination of certain filing fees. Make sure you use the new forms:
Financial Analysis Fee Transmittal Form (FIN483)
Company Licensing Fee Transmittal Form (FIN321)
Review the Notice From TDI »

TDI Statistical Data Report for 2018, Data Call for 2019

TLTA | Feb. 3, 2021
We can expect to see 2018 agent statistical data published in the near future, and collection of 2019 agent statistical data will probably be conducted sometime this spring.
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 about deadlines for submission and programming to help you comply.

Gov. Abbott Appoints Three to Real Estate Research Advisory Committee

Gov. Abbott's Press Office | Feb. 2, 2021
Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed Douglas “Doug” Foster and reappointed Warren “Doug” Jennings and Elizabeth R. “Besa” Martin to the Real Estate Research Advisory Committee for terms set to expire on Jan. 31, 2027. 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.
Douglas “Doug” Foster of Lockhart is Director of Regulatory Affairs at Polunsky Beitel Green and a Director and Audit Chairman for SouthStar Bank, State Savings Bank. He previously served as Commissioner of the Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending and as Executive Director of the Texas Finance Commission. He recently completed a six-year term as a board member and treasurer for Habitat for Humanity Texas and continues as an extended board member for the Gaslight Baker Theatre.  Additionally, he is President of the Caldwell County Texas Exes. Foster received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from The University of Texas at Austin.  
Warren “Doug” Jennings of Fort Worth is co-owner of the William C. Jennings Co. He is a member and past president of the Society of Commercial Realtors, a past chairman of governmental affairs of the Greater Fort Worth Association of Realtors, and past chairman of Texas Association of Realtors, Commercial. Jennings received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Real Estate from The University of Texas at Austin.
Elizabeth R. “Besa” Martin of Boerne is owner of E.R. Martin, LLC and a board member for First National Bank of Sonora. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the San Antonio Bar Association. Previously, she served as director of the Kendall County Bar Association and director of the San Antonio Bar Foundation. Martin received a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics and a Bachelor of Agriculture in Land Economics and Real Estate from Texas A&M University, College Station and a Juris Doctor degree from St. Mary’s Law School.

FHA Provides Struggling Borrowers Additional Time to Seek Forbearance

The Federal Housing Administration announced Tuesday that it will carry out President Joe Biden administration’s request to extend the deadline for financially stressed borrowers with FHA-insured mortgages to seek mortgage payment forbearance from their mortgage servicers.

The new deadline is March 31, allowing borrowers additional time to request and obtain up to six months of an initial pause in their mortgage payments.

Some 2.7 million homeowners are in forbearance plans, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest estimate.

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