September 8, 2021

In This Issue:

  • Governor Names Cassie Brown New TDI Commissioner
  • Legislative Update: Two Property Tax Bills Passed During Texas Legislature's Second Special Session
  • Rick Kahler: Can Home Title Thieves Steal Your House? No, They Can't
  • TDI Compliance Reminders

Governor Names Cassie Brown New TDI Commissioner

TLTA | Sept. 7, 2021
Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Cassie Brown as insurance commissioner. She has served as the Texas Workers’ Compensation Commissioner since June 2018 and previously was TDI’s deputy commissioner for Regulatory Policy.
 
"We congratulate Commissioner Brown on her new appointment," said TLTA CEO and Executive Vice President Leslie Midgley. "We enjoyed working with the Commissioner in her former capacity at TDI, and we look forward to working with her in her new role."
 
Read the Governor's Press Release »
 

Legislative Update: Two Property Tax Bills Passed During Texas Legislature's Second Special Session

TLTA | Sept. 8, 2021
The Texas Legislature recently concluded their second special session of the 87th Texas Legislature. Two property tax bills were approved during the special session:
 
SB 8
SB 12 (SJR 2)
 
Under current law, when a homeowner purchases their home, the homeowner must wait until January 1 of the following year to receive the benefit of their homestead exemption provided by Texas law. SB 8 allows a homeowner to receive their homestead exemption in the year that they acquire the property, rather than having to wait for January 1 of the following year.
 
SB 12 would extend the school property tax rate cuts approved by the Texas Legislature in 2019 to elderly and disabled homeowners. This change will be effective in Jan. 2023 if Texas voters approve a constitutional amendment (SJR 2) on local election ballots in May 2022.
 
Editor's Note: Gov. Abbott announced that a third special session will start Sept. 20. Redistricting is the primary issue on the call, along with four other issues. While none of the items on the call are among our industry's priorities, we continue to monitor legislative activity closely and will alert you if there are industry issues of which you should be aware. 
 

Rick Kahler: Can Home Title Thieves Steal Your House? No, They Can't

Watertown Public Opinion | Aug. 30, 2021
Home title theft.

This is a “threat” I only learned about from frantic radio commercials warning that your home can be stolen from you. They claim thieves can deed your property to themselves and then mortgage or even sell it without your knowledge. In fact, they may have done so already! You may have lost all your home equity! You’ll discover the fraud when you are evicted by a foreclosure or new owner!

Of course, after all these alarms, the ads offer a solution: buy their title theft insurance. They promise to shield your title, monitor it 24/7 and alert you when a fraudulent title transfer is filed. One company charges $79 a year for $1,000,000 of title theft insurance. It’s highly unlikely any such company will ever pay out a dime of insurance.

The claims are so over the top that these companies either don’t understand the law or are intentionally bending the facts. Like most things, these outlandish claims include a grain of truth. It is true that anyone can forge your name to any document, including a deed supposedly transferring title to the forger. Such a deed could be filed with the county register of deeds.

That doesn’t mean someone has stolen your title.
 
Read More »  

TDI Compliance Reminders

TLTA | Sept. 1, 2021

Underwriter Data Call: Due Oct. 8

The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) issues this mandatory data call under Insurance Code Section 2703.153, which requires title insurance underwriting companies to submit data to TDI annually. TDI uses this data to set title insurance premium rates, as required by Insurance Code Section 2703.151. This data call requests income, expense, and policy data from calendar year 2019.
 
Learn More, Submission Instructions »
 

Attention Title Agents: TDI's T-S1 Form Due by Sept. 30

Just a reminder that the T-S1, also known as the Title Agent's Unencumbered Assets Certification, is due to TDI's Title Examinations Department by Sept. 30, 2021. All title agents are required to turn in a new T-S1 form every year between Sept. 1 - 30. 
  
Download the Title Agent's Unencumbered Assets Certification (Form T-S1)    
 
TDI has requested that you submit your T-S1 form by email to TitleExaminations@tdi.texas.gov
  
For more information contact TitleExaminations@tdi.texas.gov at 512-676-6880.
 

Escrow Officer License Renewals - Some Escrow Officers Are Failing to Renew Their Licenses

Prior to TDI rule changes implemented in the last two years, title agents were responsible for renewing their escrow officers’ licenses along with their agency license. Under today's rules, escrow officers are responsible for renewing their own licenses. 
 
Some escrow officers are failing to renew their licenses.
 
Ensuring TDI has your current personal email address is a crucial first step in monitoring license renewal notices. Learn how to keep your email address up-to-date and other helpful tips for renewing your license and staying in compliance. 


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!