It’s been a busy few months at TLTA and I wanted to take a moment to update you on what’s been happening behind the scenes.

We at TLTA understand that digesting and figuring out how to get up to speed with the new ALTA Best Practices can be a daunting task. My company has been grappling with it as well, and one of my goals this year as president is to demystify that process as much as possible and break it down into manageable steps for agents. It’s a worthy goal, but one that is not easily attained and it will take time.  As I work through the best practices for my company, I realize there will always be a practice that tops my company’s practices, so I am working on “better” practices.

To help address that issue, we added a special pre-program to our annual Land Title Institute event earlier this month called Understanding and Complying With Best Practices - A Practical Approach. The goal of the program was to provide information, tools and resources to help navigate the process, including an in-depth walk through of each of the 7 pillars and a comparison to TDI regulations.  Some of the tips given by a panel of people in our industry who have already implemented the Best Practices were:

  • Look at the 7 pillars posted by ALTA and bring together your team members that are most aware of your current practices.
  • Have the team review the pillars and ALTA’s Assessment/Readiness Guide as they relate to what they do for your company, checking to see what is currently being done, what can be done in the future and what’s the cost in time and money to implement newer procedures.
  • Write the policies but make them your own (use the templates provided by your underwriter, but know that you may not want to or be able to use all of the suggested practices).
  • When creating the policies, under-promise and over-deliver (it is better to add policies as requested rather than say you are doing something that you aren’t).
  • Realize that best practices are dynamic and an evolving process.  You can always improve your current practices so getting to “best” practices is an ongoing journey.  There is no one way to get there.
  • Keep in mind that you still have to service the customer (broker) while protecting the consumer (borrower).  Make your NPI communications secure but not impossible to access and research all software options for sending secure emails keeping in mind the need to service the customer. 


 

The pre-program was immediately followed by the 24th Annual Robert C. Sneed TLTA Institute.  It was our largest attendance ever for the Institute, proving our industry is vibrant and has many topics of interest.

On the Texas front, the 84th Legislature will convene next month in Austin and the TLTA Legislative committee has been hard at work developing a legislative agenda and drafting potential bills. Although we witnessed significant changes in the makeup of the House and Senate in the past few legislative sessions, this session promises to be full of uncertainty as both chambers will have experienced even more turnover, not to mention a new governor and lieutenant governor.                                

Given all of this uncertainty, TLTA will likely take on a more modest agenda focusing on our most immediate needs. Our primary focus will be on educating the legislators about the effectiveness of our regulatory model – showing that as a result of our regulatory program, the title industry in Texas already meets most of the “Best Practices” now being required of all title agents and works for the consumers. Stay tuned for more updates as bills are filed and register now to attend our Day at the Capitol Feb. 2-3. It will provide an excellent opportunity to speak directly with your legislators about the issues that impact the title industry and ultimately your bottom line. 

I am honored to be serving as your President this year. I would love to hear your ideas, concerns, or ways TLTA can best serve you. Please feel free to email me. 

Lastly, I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season. I hope you have a chance to relax and enjoy the holidays with family and friends before a busy and prosperous 2015 arrives!

Sincerely,

Dawn Moore
TLTA President

 

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Texas Land Title Association
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Austin, TX 78703
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