May 2008


A Bittersweet Farewell...

This is my final Dateline Austin as Friday, May 16 is my last day with TLTA.  My departure from TLTA is very bittersweet. I've been offered a very exciting lobbying opportunity that I have decided to pursue; however I am saddened to leave my TLTA family.  

I have made many good friends over the last six years and will miss you all dearly. I appreciate all of the support, advice and education you have provided me and I will forever be in support of this great industry. I have been honored to represent such a professional group of individuals at the Legislature and I will continue to defend the industry when the opportunity presents itself.  

I have enjoyed working closely with so many of you on committees, legislative and regulatory issues and PAC. Additionally, I urge all of you to continue to contribute to the TLTAPAC! We have come a long way in the last six years and I hope you all realize the success TLTA has had in the legislative arena because of your commitment to support the title insurance industry.   

My new job will take me to many of your hometowns so don't be surprised if I look you up to say hello.  I also look forward to seeing you all in Austin in 2009 when you attend TLTA Day at the Capitol! 

Thank you again for your hard work on behalf of the Texas title industry, your dedication to TLTA, and most of all, your friendship.  I look forward to our paths crossing again in the near future.  


Sincerely,

REGULATORY NEWS

Mineral Coverage Bulletin Update

As of press time, we are still waiting to hear what action TDI will take on this important issue.  In an effort to keep you updated, TLTA has sent out regular updates on the latest developments and will continue to do so.  Click here to review all updates. 
The TLTA Board of Directors has met three times over the last five days to discuss developments in this area and to address how to proceed.  Our position continues to be that we would like for TDI to either pull down the original bulletin or issue a revised bulletin in addition to scheduling an expedited hearing so that this matter can be further resolved.  TLTA is working on preparing revised agenda items in preparation for such a hearing.   

Please be assured that this remains our highest priority and will continue to be so until it is resolved.  We welcome your continued input and appreciate your support as we work toward a resolution that is in the best interests of the entire industry as well as the consumers of Texas.  

2008 Biennial Hearing Update

The TLTA Board of Directors met by conference call on May 14 to approve recommendations submitted by the Regulatory Committee on agenda items for the 2008 Biennial Hearing. Once the agenda items are officially submitted to TDI and given an agenda item number, we will post them on the TLTA Web site under the Regulatory page. Most of the items discussed are considered "clean-up" from the 2006 hearing. Thanks to all the TLTA members who contributed time and effort towards this endeavor.

Basic Manual Updates Now Available – Become a Subscriber and Save $$$

Changes to the Basic Manual became effective May 1, 2008.  If you have not ordered your updates, the easiest and most cost-effective way to update your manual is to sign up for our subscription service. Not only will you save money and time but you will automatically receive all updates throughout the rest of the year. Click here to subscribe to this valuable service.  Please note that changes relating to P-24 will be available prior to the July 1, 2008 effective date; and changes relating to ICL's will be available prior to the October 1, 2008 effective date.   
Section VIII is Now Available-- Order Today!
Additions to the Basic Manual regarding the business of personal property title insurance will be included in a separate binder and referred to as Section VIII.   Click here to order your new Section VIII binder today.   Section VIII is also available on the TLTA Web site. 

Agent Statistical Data Due – Help Available!

TDI sent out the call for agent statistical data for the calendar year ending December 31, 2007. Click here to read Commissioner's Bulletin #B-0019-08. The due date for hard copies is May 30, 2008 and for electronic submission is June 13, 2008. TLTA is offering two programs to assist you. The May 20 program is designed to walk you through step-by-step in completing the report and the June 10 program is a trouble shooting Q&A session. Register today for one or both programs.    

TLTAPAC UPDATE

TLTAPAC-- Join the Club 

Support the TLTAPAC and also make history by joining the Centennial Club. To become a member, contribute $100 or more by June 30 and you will receive an exclusive ribbon at TLTA events and have your name inscribed on a special plaque that will hang in the TLTA office. Most importantly, you will be supporting your industry and its continuing success for years to come. Don't miss out on this "once in a century" opportunity! See who is already making history and join fellow industry members by donating online today.  

Have Fun While Supporting Your Industry! 

The annual TLTAPAC Golf Tournament will be held on June 5 at the magnificently scenic Westin La Cantera Resort in San Antonio. Sign up now and show your support of the PAC! We will have some great door prizes and you do not have to be registered for the TLTA Conference to be eligible to play.  

Corporate Sponsors Needed!

For as little as $500 your company can make the TLTAPAC Golf Tournament a huge success! TLTA still needs to raise $9,000 in sponsorship dollars to reach our fundraising goal.  Show your company support in TLTA's legislative efforts by donating corporate money to assist in TLTAPAC. Several sponsorship opportunities are still available. Find out how your company can support the PAC or contact Mary Beth Kiser.
Thanks to our current sponsors:

Guaranty Bank
Commerce Title Insurance Company
Chicago Title Insurance Company
Old Republic National Title Insurance Company
Workway
Celia C. Flowers & East Texas Title Companies
Documation
Barrett Daffin Frappier Turner & Engel, LLP
Title Resources Guaranty
ACS/Title Records Division
FIS Data Services
Highland Lakes Title Company
LandAmerica Lawyers Title of El Paso, Inc.
West Texas Title Company, Inc.

Senator Wentworth to Speak at Annual PAC Breakfast

 One of San Antonio's hometown senators, Jeff Wentworth, will be speaking at this year's annual TLTAPAC Breakfast on Friday, June 6 at 7:45 a.m. at the Westin Riverwalk Hotel. Thanks to our breakfast sponsor Winstead P.C., 100 percent of your $35 breakfast ticket goes directly to help support friendly candidates in the upcoming general election. Please sign up now to attend this year's breakfast and hear from the Senator regarding his thoughts and concerns about the upcoming election and legislative session. Additionally, the 2008-09 TLTAPAC Board of Trustees will be elected.  Register today to attend this important meeting. 

FEDERAL NEWS 

Update on RESPA Reform – Comment Period Extended!

TLTA wishes to thank all of you who took the time to submit comments to HUD regarding our concerns with their RESPA reform proposal. To date, over 840 letters have been submitted from around the country and we have seen several from Texas!  
In other good news, HUD has extended the comment period for another 30 days thanks to the efforts of Congressman Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX) and 147 co-signers of a "Dear Colleague Letter." In their letter they asked HUD to extend from 60 to 120 days to provide for an adequate amount of time for the public to review and comment on this extensive rule which will have significant implications on the housing industry.  

If you have not yet submitted your comments to HUD, we urge you to take advantage of the extended comment period which ends June 12, 2008. Click here for TLTA's Call to Action and instructions on how to submit electronically. It is quick and easy and of course absolutely necessary to submit your concerns about the proposal.  Click here for more information about HUD's proposal.

Antitrust Lawsuit Dismissed in New Mexico 

On Friday, May 9, 2008 a federal court Judge in New Mexico dismissed a 2006 antitrust lawsuit filed against the title insurance industry and state regulatory agencies alleging various causes of action surrounding pricing of title insurance in the state. The judge granted dismissal on all grounds including the filed rate, state action, statutory immunity and Noerr-Penninton doctrines. As expected, the plaintiffs have filed a petition with the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit for review of the decision; however this is still a positive development in this case.