March 25, 2021

In This Issue:

  • TLTA Legislative Update
  • TDI Quarterly Audit Results Published
  • Bipartisan Cannabis Bills Introduced in U.S. Senate, House
  • MBA Seeks Clarity on GSE Investment Property Policies
  • Now Available: Revised FHA Condominium Loan-Level/Single-Unit and FHA
  • Condominium Project Approval Questionnaire Forms

TLTA Legislative Update

TLTA | March 25, 2021

We continue to make progress on TLTA's affirmative legislative priorities. Since our last report, the House companion to SB 885, HB 3320 by Rep. Landgraf, was referred to the House Business and Industry Committee. Learn more about this important Quitclaim Bill
 
SB 1594 by Sen. Buckingham, the Senate companion to our Homestead Certainty Bill, HB 3115, was referred to the Senate Business and Commerce Committee. You may recall that the chairman of that committee, Sen. Hancock, joined our TLTA Board meeting via Zoom in November to give board members a preview of the legislative session. 
 
In addition to the affirmative legislative agenda items listed above, our legislative team is monitoring 151 of the more than 7,000 bills filed this session. Review a list and description of the proposed pieces of legislation we are monitoring. 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.
 
Only 68 days remain in the 87th Legislative Session, but special sessions are expected due to redistricting and other issues. 
 

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. TLTA is seeking passage of two statutory changes that would improve real estate transactions:
Next steps for these TLTA affirmative legislative agenda items start with securing committee hearings.
 

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 Quarterly Audit Results Published

TLTA | March 25, 2021
The following is a summary of recent TDI audits, violations and enforcement actions from September through November 2020.
 
Read TDI's complete summary of operations for the quarter, or read the key statistics below.  
  
Compliance Audits: TDI's goal is to comprehensively audit agencies at least once every two years. This quarter, TDI conducted 57 audits.

Commissioner Orders: This quarter, TDI signed 0 Commissioner Orders. As of this report, 40 cases remain active and under investigation.

Compliance Audit Results: Below are TDI's most common audit findings for the quarter that ended in May. The numbers below represent how many agencies had an infraction, not the number of times the infraction occurred:
 
Number of Agencies
Category
Description
32
Texas insurance Code
Section 2702.053 - Actual receipts and/or disbursements not in agreement with settlement statement or premium split not disclosed
31
Minimum Escrow Accounting Procedures and Internal Controls
#16 - Every disbursement not supported by invoice or sufficient other evidence
31
Escrow Accounting
Outstanding checks not cleared timely
27
Procedural Rules
P-73: Failure to prepare/maintain form T-64 (TD) when CD used
27
Procedural Rules
P-21: Schedule D of commitment not in file or premium split not disclosed on commitment.
 
 
Review the Complete Quarterly Audit Report »
 
 TLTA Editor's Note: Earlier this week TLTA hosted a live webinar: Texas Title Agent Essentials for Avoiding Audit Disasters. If you missed the live presentation, you can watch it on-demand. Don't miss this timely and much-needed review for experienced title agents. It also provides a necessary, thorough introduction for new title agents.
 

Bipartisan Cannabis Bills Introduced in U.S. Senate, House

ALTA | March 18, 2021
Two important bills were introduced in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives that would provide needed protection to title and settlement services companies when handling transactions involving cannabis businesses. ALTA supports efforts to clarify compliance for businesses that provide services to the growing cannabis industry.

In the House, the bipartisan Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2021 was reintroduced. The bill prevents federal regulators from taking enforcement actions against financial institutions and insurance companies that do business with the cannabis industry in states where it is legal. It also provides protection from prosecution for handling cannabis funds. The goal of the bill is to move those businesses away from cash and into the banking system. It has broad support from the financial services industry.

Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez introduced the Clarifying Law Around Insurance of Marijuana (CLAIM) Act of 2021. The bill, cosponsored by Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), ensures legal marijuana and related businesses have access to comprehensive and affordable insurance coverage. 

Read More »
 

MBA Seeks Clarity on GSE Investment Property Policies

HousingWire | March 24, 2021
The Mortgage Bankers Association on Tuesday sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria expressing concern over several amendments to the Senior Preferred Stock Purchase Agreements announced in January, including changes to investment properties. The MBA said several of the revised PSPA amendments could cause “unnecessary disruptions in the housing finance system,” and asked for a meeting to cover these topics.
 
One key issue is the PSPA amendment that limits Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from buying single-family loans secured by investment properties or second homes. The amendment caps investment property or second home acquisitions at 7% of the GSEs’ total single-family acquisitions, a limit that the MBA fears could put lenders in a bind given current, higher activity in those loans since the start of 2021.
 
Read More »
 

Now Available: Revised FHA Condominium Loan-Level/Single-Unit and FHA Condominium Project Approval Questionnaire Forms

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development | March 15, 2021
Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced the publication of Mortgagee Letter (ML) 2021-09, Announcement of Revised Form HUD-9991, FHA Condominium Loan Level/Single-Unit Approval Questionnaire and Revised Form HUD-9992, FHA Condominium Project Approval Questionnaire. 
 
Mortgagees may begin using these revised forms immediately; however, the revised form HUD-9991 must be used for case numbers assigned on or after May 17, 2021. Additionally, form HUD-9992 must be used for initial project approval and recertifications submitted on or after May 17, 2021.
 
Learn More » 

In addition to live webinars held throughout the year, you have access to our library of more than 80 On-Demand webinars and videos  covering the title industry topics you need to earn continuing education credits and stay ahead of the curve on the latest industry trends!