February 24, 2021

In This Issue:

  • TLTA Legislative Update
  • New Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys Took Effect Feb. 23
  • Other Advocacy Updates From TLTA – TREC Adopts Option Fee Changes
  • CFPB Issues Statement on QM Rule Compliance Deadlines
  • Texas Storm Deflates Mortgage Application Numbers

TLTA Legislative Update

TLTA | Feb. 24, 2021

Legislative business was temporarily on hold last week as communities statewide responded to the series of crises generated by the unprecedented winter storm. Normal legislative activities resumed this week, with the Senate Finance and House Appropriations committees resuming their work on the state budget.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued his 31 priorities for 2021 this week. Please note that among his priorities is removing racist restrictions from real estate deeds (see item 30 in the press release linked above). While the Lt. Gov.'s statement notes that the removal of these restrictions will be carried out via Senate Bill 30, that bill has not been filed yet. As you may recall, this is an issue on which our industry has worked in previous sessions.
As noted in last week's Dateline, special hearings are being held this week on the power and water outages that accompanied last week's severe winter storm, and reform of the systems governing our state's electricity grid has now moved onto the list of emergency items designated by Gov. Abbott for consideration by the Texas Legislature during the first 60 days of the 87th Legislative Session.

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 »

New Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys Took Effect Feb. 23

Roland Love - Texas Land Title Association | Feb. 24, 2021
What’s so special about Feb. 23? For one thing it is the last day of the Roman calendar, a day when the Romans celebrated Terminus, the god of boundaries. Boundaries were sacred in ancient Rome and tampering with one could lead to penalty of death. So, if you ever doubted that surveyors have a sense of humor, it is also the day this year when the new Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys take effect. The old 2016 standards and the prior ALTA/ACSM will be superseded and ineffective unless already agreed as part of a current transaction.

How does this affect you? Lender and buyer instructions will need to be corrected. A surveyor cannot honor a request for a survey using the old standards. If a new survey is requested in an existing deal, it will also need to utilize the new standards. And the Table A, Optional Survey Responsibilities and Specifications, has been renumbered to delete old item 18 for Wetlands – with old items 19, 20, and 21 becoming 18, 19 and 20. Many commercial surveys are ordered with a numerical listing of Table A items. The new Standard Detail Requirements and a red line copy can be found at www.nsps.us.com.
Read More »

Other Advocacy Updates From TLTA – TREC Adopts Option Fee Changes

Texas Land Title Association | Feb. 24, 2021

TREC adopted option fee changes Feb. 19 - UPDATED FAQs on timeline and implementation
We continue to monitor closely TREC's adoption and implementation of the changes to the termination option and option fee language included in the TREC contract form. Under the revised forms, a buyer is required to deliver the option fee to the title company, not to the seller. TREC adopted the updated form at their meeting Feb. 19, so the newly adopted form may now be used. Please note that use of the updated forms will be mandatory beginning April 1, 2021.
After we published TREC's FAQs regarding these changes in the Jan. 27 issue of Dateline, TREC updated the FAQs to incorporate a change we requested. Per TLTA's request, TDI's good funds requirements are highlighted in the following updated FAQ:
Will the seller have to wait until closing to receive the option fee from the title company?

No. Under the revised forms, the buyer authorizes the escrow agent to release and deliver the option fee to the seller at any time without further notice to or consent from the buyer, and releases escrow agent from liability for delivery of the option fee to the seller. The option fee will be credited to the sales price at closing. Note, however, that any disbursement may be conditioned on the collection of good funds acceptable to the escrow agent. Title companies, which are regulated by the Texas Department of insurance, must comply with “good funds” rules before disbursing option fees.
Thank you to the Texas Realtors and TREC for accomodating our requested change.

Read All the FAQs »
In case you missed it, TLTA hosted a webinar in February that reviewed the new changes to the TREC contract forms. On-Demand TLTA Webinar: Recent TREC Contract Form Changes »

CFPB Issues Statement on QM Rule Compliance Deadlines

ABA Banking Journal | Feb. 23, 2021
As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau considers whether to revisit its recent final rules regarding the definition of Qualified Mortgage and the establishment of a “seasoned QM” category of loans, it issued a statement this week addressing the compliance deadlines associated with these rules. The statement also addresses the temporary “GSE patch” that was set to expire on the compliance date of the General QM final rule.

Read More »
Read CFPB's Statement »

Texas Storm Deflates Mortgage Application Numbers

HousingWire | Feb. 24, 2021
Mortgage applications decreased 11.4% from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly survey for the week ending Feb. 19.
It’s the lowest level applications have fallen to since December 2020.

Activity decreased across the board, with the unadjusted index (-10%), the refinance index (-11%), the seasonally adjusted purchase index (-12%) and the unadjusted purchase index (-8%) all falling from the previous week.

The severe winter weather in Texas played a prominent role in the survey’s declining numbers, according to Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting.


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