May 11, 2022

In This Issue:

  • Texans Overwhelmingly Approve Propositions on Property Tax Breaks
  • ICYMI: TLTA Judiciary Committee – Whose Boundary Is It Anyway? Litigating the Policy’s Survey Exception
  • Top Takeaways From the Latest TREC Meeting
  • Texas Workgroup on Blockchain Matters to Meet May 20

Texans Overwhelmingly Approve Propositions on Property Tax Breaks

Austin American Statesman | May 8, 2022
Texas voters overwhelmingly approved two amendments to the Texas Constitution that are intended to provide modest property tax breaks to homeowners.

With all precincts reporting, just under 85% of voters supported Proposition 2 to raise the homestead exemption for school district property taxes from the current $25,000 to $40,000 starting this year.

The change will save the average homeowner about $175 a year in school property taxes, according to state Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, who led legislative efforts in favor of the proposed amendment.

Proposition 1, supported by 87% of voters, offered a more focused break by correcting an oversight to tax relief, adopted by the Legislature in 2019, that did not apply to homeowners who are disabled or 65 and older because their school tax burden is frozen.

Voter approval means that, starting in 2023, those homeowners will save about $110 next year for a home valued at $300,000 by making available the reduction in the property tax limits for school maintenance and operations.
 
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ICYMI: TLTA Judiciary Committee – Whose Boundary Is It Anyway? Litigating the Policy’s Survey Exception

Sean O'Callaghan, CTIP | May 4, 2022
When an insured is served with a lawsuit from their neighbor alleging a dispute over the common boundary line between the two properties, the last thing the insured wants to see in their title policy is an exception for coverage for discrepancies, conflicts, or shortages in area or boundary lines.

That was just the situation in which an insured found itself in the Zarkasha case. Zarkasha Enterprise, Inc. purchased their 3.9 acre tract of land on the Waller County side of the Waller County/Montgomery County border in 2009.  In 2017, Zarkasha’s neighbor purchased their 18 acre tract of land on the Montgomery County side of the Waller County/Montgomery County border.

A dispute arose between Zarkasha and its neighbors, so in 2018, the neighbors filed suit against Zarkasha to quiet title alleging that Zarkasha was claiming an interest in the neighbors’ land in Montgomery County.  The neighbor’s petition alleged that both properties at issue were described in their deeds as being entirely in one county (Zarkasha in Waller and the neighbor in Montgomery) and that both legal descriptions referenced that the county line was the boundary for their respective properties.   

Zarkasha then made a claim on its owner’s title policy and sued its title insurer, demanding a defense to the neighbors’ claims. 

Read More »
 
TLTA's Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by Leslie Johnson, is responsible for recommending to our board of directors TLTA's position on court decisions that could affect the defense of title companies and title agents.
 

Top Takeaways From the Latest TREC Meeting

TREC | May 2, 2022
The Texas Real Estate Commission met May 2, 2022. In addition to hearing updates from TREC staff, the Commission contemplated a proposed new flood disclosure form for leases, non-substantive proposed changes from the quadrennial rule review, and adopted a rule change for easement or right-of-way (ERW) agents. The Commission also heard a presentation from Gary Maler, executive director of the Texas Real Estate Research Center at Texas A&M University.

Read More »
 

Texas Workgroup on Blockchain Matters to Meet May 20

TLTA | May 11, 2022
The 87th Texas Legislature created the Texas Work Group on Blockchain Matters via passage of HB 1576. The workgroup has scheduled a meeting May 20.
 
The work group is charged with developing a master plan to promote expansion of the blockchain industry in Texas. The master plan must be submitted to certain legislative committees of the Senate and House of Representatives no later than Oct. 31, 2022.
 
Your legislative team at TLTA continues monitoring this group's work and will report if we see any activity impacting the real estate industry or when we know more about any changes the group may propose.
 
Review the Posting » 

Industry Hot Topics 2022: Tips and Guidance on Current Questions Escrow Pros Are Asking

1 hr Escrow Credit
presenters 
Frances Hughes, CTIP, Providence Title
Melissa L. Trubatisky, Alliant National Title Insurance Company

 
In tomorrow intermediate webinar, Industry Hot Topics 2022, attendees will learn helpful hints and receive guidance on hot topics currently affecting the title industry, including the following:
  • How to handle lender requests for loans involving additional collateral. The rate rules to know and how homestead can affect the transaction. We’ll discuss refinances and purchase transactions.
  • When to issue a T-1 Owner Policy vs. issuing a T-1R. 
  • Review of the procedural rule associated with the definition of “residential real property” and the issuance of the Owner Policy.
  • What you need to know about handling new construction when there are overruns, overages and upgrades. How homestead can affect this issue.
  • How to balance the Buyer CD when the lender improperly discloses title company fees and premiums.
  • Who is responsible for preparing the Seller CD.
  • Who is responsible for delivery of CDs to real estate agents.
  • Proper disclosures on the promulgated Texas Disclosure (T-64), and the procedural rule associated with this form.
  • Properly completing notary acknowledgements and acceptable forms of identification for all parties.
Watch it LIVE and ask the presenters questions
Thursday, May 12, 1-2 p.m.
 
Register Now
 
Not sure you can watch it live next Thursday?
Register anyway and if you miss it, we'll change your registration to our on-demand webinar and let you know when it's posted to our on-demand library.   

Don't see what you're looking for in the list above? TLTA maintains a 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!