March 31, 2021

In This Issue:

  • TLTA Legislative Update
  • Changes to Delivery of Option Fee Go Into Effect April 1
  • ALTA Joins 30 Organizations in Support of 1031 Exchanges
  • U.S. Senate Extends Pandemic Assistance for Small businesses for 2 Months

TLTA Legislative Update

TLTA | March 31, 2021

TLTA's legislative team is hard at work as the Texas Legislature reaches speed and charges into the final 60 days of the 87th Session. Our focus continues to be on working with our bill authors to secure committee hearings for the bills on TLTA's affirmative legislative agenda. In addition to educating committee members and staff about the bills our industry wants to see passed this session, we are working with real estate-related allied industries and other stakeholders to learn all we can about other legislation included among our bills to watch this session, as well as sharing our industry's positions, interests and legislative history, as appropriate.

As reported in our Legislative Update on March 17, TLTA's Board of Directors decided to remain neutral on HB 2240 (relating to the disbursement of funds from a trust fund account by a title insurance company, title insurance agent, or escrow officer), as long as the committee substitute addressed our industry's concerns. The committee substitute that was adopted this week did address our industry's concerns, although there is some further language tweaking to take place later in the process. Our association's position remains neutral as the bill heads to the House's local and consent calendar.

As noted above, in addition to the affirmative legislative agenda items on which we are working, 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 60 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 »

Changes to Delivery of Option Fee Go Into Effect April 1

TLTA | March 31, 2021
The Texas Real Estate Commission in November 2020 approved several changes to promulgated contract forms. Under the revised forms, a buyer is required to deliver the option fee to the title company, not to the seller. Changes to delivery of the option fee go into effect April 1.
Read TREC's FAQs re: Changes to Delivery of Option Fees »

TLTA hosted a webinar in February that reviewed the new changes to the TREC contract forms. You can watch our On-Demand TLTA Webinar: Recent TREC Contract Form Changes »

Review and Download TREC's Updated and New Contract Forms »

ALTA Joins 30 Organizations in Support of 1031 Exchanges

ALTA | March 25, 2021
ALTA joined 30 other organizations in letters to Congressional leaders and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen explaining the importance of 1031 like-kind exchanges. 

The letter outlines how 1031 exchanges support jobs and investment, healthy real estate markets, and important social and environmental objectives, such as the preservation of family-owned farms and ranches and the conservation of land for the benefit of the public and future generations. Like-kind exchanges under section 1031 of the tax code allow businesses to grow organically, with less unsustainable debt, by reinvesting gains on a tax-deferred basis in new and productive assets. In this way, like-kind exchanges create a ladder of economic opportunity for minority-, veteran- and women-owned businesses and cash-poor entrepreneurs that may lack access to traditional sources of financing.

Read More »

U.S. Senate Extends Pandemic Assistance for Small Businesses for 2 Months

CNBC | March 25, 2021
The Senate on Thursday voted to extend the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program just a week before it was slated to expire.
Senators voted 92 to 7 to pass the PPP Extension Act of 2021, which extends the program to May 31 instead of the current March 31 deadline and gives the SBA another 30 days to process loans.
Read 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!