April 13, 2020

New COVID-19 updates vital to you and your business are coming out daily. We know it’s a lot to keep up with and we are committed to keeping you informed. Please check our COVID-19 webpage regularly for up-to-the minute changes. Here are some highlights from the last few days:

TLTA Proposes Emergency Executive Action on Remote Witnessing of Wet Signature Notarizations in Texas – Pending Governor's Response

In response to feedback from our members regarding limited implementation of remote online notarizations (RON) in the marketplace, late last week TLTA proposed to Gov. Abbott a temporary solution designed to support real estate closings under COVID-19 public health protocols. The temporary process we propose involves the remote witnessing of wet signatures only. The use of electronic signatures under current law would not be impacted by the temporary measure we are proposing. If Gov. Abbott acts on our request for temporary relief, we will alert you immediately. In the meantime, you can review TLTA's proposal, read the cover letter we submitted to the governor along with our proposal, or review this breaking news in which we provide more details regarding our proposal

Expanded List of Fannie, Freddie FAQs Provide Temporary Guidance for Lenders on Use of RON, POA and Remote Witnessing of Wet Signature Notarizations

In response to the COVID-19 national emergency, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have provided temporary guidance to lenders on several policy areas to support mortgage originations, appraisals and quality control (QC). These FAQs are updated regularly as new information is released and are important because they have bearing on what lenders may accept. Of particular note was this question Freddie Mac added last week that addresses permissibility of remotely witnessed wet signature notarizations, as being proposed by TLTA (see Freddie Mac's Q6 here). We recommend you review both sets of FAQs from Freddie and Fannie containing COVID-19 guidance for lenders. 

IRS Extends Deadline for 1031 Exchanges, Including Opportunity Zone Investments

In guidance issued April 9, the IRS said it would provide “additional time to perform certain time-sensitive actions” that includes deadline relief for both 1031 like-kind exchanges and opportunity zone investments already underway. Learn more.

TLTA Complimentary Webinar-Style Briefing: Coronavirus Financial Relief for Businesses CARES Act SBA Loans, Tax Credits and More

For title agents seeking information and insights regarding federal financial support for businesses, the team at Foley and Lardner, LLP, participated in a webinar-style briefing, Coronavirus Financial Relief for Businesses. Watch a complimentary recording of this briefing, review slide deck, and more.

TLTA Complimentary Webinar-Style Briefing: Employment Law Aspects of COVID-19

For title agents seeking information and insights regarding employment law considerations during the COVID-19 public health crisis, Ted Smith of Cornell Smith Mierl Brutocao Burton, LLP, participated in a webinar-style briefing, Employment Law Aspects of COVID-19. Watch a complimentary recording of this briefing, review slide deck, and more.

New RON Webinar April 16 – Return of the RON

And, don't forget to register for our new RON webinar: Return of the RON, which will be presented April 16. This course is an in-depth discussion of Remote Online Notary situations and E-Closing scenarios. 
To dig deeper and learn more, visit TLTA's COVID-19 Resources webpage . Be sure to check back regularly, because we update these resources the moment new information or tools are available.
Thank you for continuing to share your feedback, providing us with updates, and trusting us to be your advocate in this challenging environment. 
Here for you every step of the way,
Leslie Midgley, CAE
Executive Vice President and CEO
Texas Land Title Association