June 2008

Greetings Members,

I am very excited to be joining the team at TLTA.  I hope to build on the great work of my predecessor Mindy Carr.  TLTA has a wonderful reputation in the Capitol and I am honored to be a part of this historic organization.

By all indications, we will be facing another challenging Texas Legislative Session in the Spring.  I look forward to developing my expertise on the title industry and becoming an effective voice for our membership both at the Capital and vis-à-vis the regulatory process.  Please do not hesitate to call me if you have any questions or if I may be of service in any way.

Aaron Day
Director of Government Affairs


Minerals Coverage Hearing Set for July 15 -- TLTA Files Revised Agenda Items

As we previously reported, TDI Commissioner Mike Geeslin has issued a notice that a public hearing will be held on July 15, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 100 of the William P. Hobby State Office Building at 333 Guadalupe Street in Austin, to consider rules, forms or endorsements regarding minerals coverage.  Additionally, he has withdrawn in its entirety, Bulletin #168 dealing with minerals coverage.  The TLTA Board of Directors and Minerals Task Force have had several meetings to refine TLTA's position.  The Board voted to revise the originally filed agenda items.   Please note that Stewart Title's originally filed items have been withdrawn and Stewart jointly filed the following agenda items with TLTA.  Click here to review the agenda items.

2008 Biennial Hearing Update

TLTA has submitted agenda items for the 2008 hearing which we anticipate will be scheduled for the Fall.  We will post the agenda items on our Web site once they are officially assigned an agenda item number by TDI. As we noted before, many of the items discussed are considered "clean-up" from the 2006 hearing. We will continue to keep you updated on this hearing as we obtain more information. 

TDI Commissioner Posts Order on Personal Property Title Insurance Rate Hearing

Click here to view the order. 

TDI Title Agent Solvency Group Report

Earlier this year, TDI Commissioner Mike Geeslin appointed a task force to study potential responses to title agent solvency concerns.  The TDI Title Agent Solvency Group Report recommends several areas of study with regard to financial issues in the title industry.  Click here to review the TDI Title Agency Solvency Group Report.  TDI is seeking input and comments which can be emailed to Rob Carter, Texas Department of Insurance Deputy Commissioner.  Please copy Aaron Day, Director of Government Affairs at TLTA, on your TDI correspondence.
663.17 (b) (3): (c) In addition, the surveyor may furnish an electronic copy of a written description provided that the text is verbatim to that on the certified document retained in the surveyors file.
(Submitted by Robby Christopher, TSPS Liaison to TBPLS) 

For more information, visit http://www.tsps.org/.

Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying Adopts New Rule Change in Electronic Copies of Surveys  

The Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying adopted the proposed change to Rule 663.17 (b) regarding electronic copies of written descriptions.  This development will allow all Texas surveyors to supply their clients electronic file needs where field notes are concerned, within the stated constraints. 
July 1 Basic Manual Updates Now Available – Become a Subscriber and Save $$$
The July 1, 2008 effective updates to the Basic Manual (changes relating to P-24) resulting from the 2006 Biennial Hearing are now available.  If you are a subscriber to the Basic Manual update service or if you purchased the May 1, 2008 updates, you should have already received your July 1, 2008 updates in the mail.   

If you did not order the May 1, 2008 updates, the easiest and most cost-effective way to update your Basic Manual is to sign up for our annual subscription service. Not only will you save money but you will automatically receive all updates throughout the rest of the year. Click here to subscribe to this valuable service.  Additionally, the Basic Manual is updated on the TLTA Web site.   

Basic Manual Revision:  P-1.f

It has come to our attention that the recent TLTA Basic Manual update includes a version of P-1.f in Section IV that is in conflict with what TDI has published.  This conflict occurred because different P-1.f language was adopted in two separate agenda items.  We have clarified with TDI which version they intend to follow.  Click here to view P-1.f on the TLTA Web site.

If you have purchased a Basic Manual subscription service or if you purchased the May 1, 2008 updates, a new page including the revised language for P-1.f was included in your July 1, 2008 updates.  TLTA endeavors to have the most up-to-date Basic Manual information available on the Web site and via printed updates.  We apologize for any disruption or inconvenience this may have caused.  Click here to purchase a subscription service or a complete Basic Manual.  

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.  


TLTA Submits Comments to Sunset Advisory Commission

 Click here to view TLTA's comments to the Sunset Commission.

Sunset Advisory Commission Report Available—Hearing Held on June 24 

TDI is currently up for review under the Sunset Advisory Commission.  The Sunset Advisory Commission is a 12-member legislative body that reviews the policies and programs of state government agencies every 12 years.  TLTA President Celia Flowers appointed a Sunset Advisory Task Force to review the Sunset Advisory Commission's report.  As a result, TLTA filed written comments and attended the hearing.  No significant testimony on title insurance was given.  Most of the concerned citizens' testimony included homeowners insurance and Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA).  We will continue to keep you informed on the Sunset Advisory Commission's progress. Click here to view the Sunset Advisory Commission report.


TLTAPAC and Conference Update 

Thanks to all who supported the TLTAPAC this year.  The TLTAPAC raised $136,358 in 2007-08 in individual and corporate donations (including in-kind gifts).  A special thanks goes to those who made history by joining the Centennial Club with a contribution of $100 or more.  It's not too late to join the Centennial Club!  Through the end of 2008, you too can become a member and receive an exclusive ribbon at TLTA events and have your name inscribed on a special plaque that will hang in the TLTA office.  See who is already making history and join fellow industry members by donating online today.  

The TLTAPAC hosted Sen. Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio) as the PAC Breakfast keynote speaker.  Sen. Wentworth addressed a crowd of nearly 100 on his thoughts and views about the upcoming election and Texas Legislative Session.  Thanks to Winstead PC for sponsoring this year's breakfast. 

TLTAPAC Golf Tournament Named "Bert Massey Classic"  

At the TLTAPAC Breakfast, Roland Love announced that the annual TLTAPAC golf tournament, traditionally held as a PAC fundraiser in conjunction with the Annual Conference, will be named the "Bert Massey Classic" in recognition of Bert's dedication to the TLTAPAC.  Bert was instrumental in establishing the TLTAPAC during his year as president in 1981-82 and has served as its chair for more than 25 years.    Click here to view photos from the 2008 TLTAPAC Golf Tournament.

Thank You to the TLTAPAC Golf Tournament Corporate Sponsors

Thank you all TLTAPAC Golf Tournament sponsors.  Your corporate support of the TLTAPAC in part made the event a huge success!  We look forward to hosting all our golfers and company sponsors next year in Lake Tahoe at the Championship Course at Incline Village on June 12, 2009.  Contact Mary Beth Kiser to secure your sponsorship for 2009 today.
Thanks to our sponsors:
Guaranty Bank
Comerica Bank
Countrywide Bank
Title Resources Guaranty
Chicago Title Insurance Company
FIS Data Services
Windward Consulting
ACS/Title Records Division
Celia C. Flowers & East Texas Title Companies
Commerce Title Insurance Company
Barrett Daffin Frappier Turner & Engel, LLP
Highland Lakes Title Company
AmeriPoint Title New Braunfels
Independence Title Company
LandAmerica Lawyers Title of El Paso, Inc.
Old Republic National Title Insurance Compan
West Texas Title Company, Inc.


RESPA Comments Filed by TLTA  

Thank you again to all who took the time to submit comments to HUD regarding our concerns with their RESPA reform proposal.  TLTA also filed comments on behalf of our membership.  Click here to review the RESPA comments filed by TLTA.  In coordination with ALTA, our Washington, DC-based legislative consultant, Jim Hyland has been visiting with Congressmen about our concerns and has requested a meeting with the White House.  We will continue to keep you updated on the state of this critical issue.  Click here for more information about HUD's proposal.