March 2004


DID YOU KNOW?

The cost of title insurance paid by policyholders in Texas has decreased 10 percent in the last decade, as opposed to costs paid by policyholders for most other lines of insurance that have increased. Source: Texas Dept. of Insurance.

Do you have a TITLE QUICK FACT you would like to have included in Downdate? E-mail us at tlta@tlta.com


P-53 RESOURCES AND INFORMATION

We have received numerous phone calls and e-mails this week regarding the new P-53 Rule that becomes effective April 1, 2004. (This rule implements the Insurance Code relating to prohibitions on marketing activities considered to be rebates in the title insurance business.)  We have created a P-53 page on the TLTA Website in order to provide information on the new rule and to answer some of the questions that you have raised. Click here to go to the P 53 page. We will continue to keep this page current as information becomes available. 

We also have an audio tape of the March 23 TLTA Rules Teleconference that is available for purchase (See link below for an order form.)

Click here to order a tape of the TLTA teleconference held March 23 regarding the new Rules, including P-53. 


ON-LINE REGISTRATION AND PUBLICATIONS ARE NOW AVAILABLE!

Have you noticed something NEW on the TLTA Web site lately? Look for these icons on the TLTA Web site. They will indicate the events and products that can be ordered on-line!

We are now offering On-Line Registration for seminars and other events, as well as On-Line Shopping to purchase the TLTA Membership Directory, Basic Manual, Basic Manual Updates, and other publications.

Click here to go to the ON-LINE STORE ON THE TLTA WEB SITE. (www.tlta.com)


WORK SMARTER – NOT HARDER
by Janet Minke, Landamerica Financial Group

In today's world, management must focus on constantly improving productivity. This means that more work is done by fewer people – meaning that the burden falls on each of us.

Many "time management" gurus tell a story something like this:

There once was a woodsman who had a new ax. The first day he was able to chop down twenty trees in only 8 hours. On subsequent days, however, although he worked just as long and hard, he found he was chopping down fewer and fewer trees. One evening he was discussing this problem with a friend and the friend suggested, "Why don't you sharpen your ax?" The woodsman replied sadly, "I'm too busy. If I stop to sharpen the ax I won't get today's quota of trees chopped down."   MORE STORY


TLTA BOARD MEETING SCHEDULED FOR APRIL 14, 2004
The TLTA Board of Directors will meet on April 14, 2004 at 9 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Austin. For those of you who have never attended a board meeting, it's an excellent opportunity to observe first-hand how TLTA conducts its business. If you are interested in attending, please contact Leslie Midgley at the TLTA office. Click here for a map to the hotel.


CALL FOR ARTICLES

We know many of you serve as teachers and trainers for your company, or have written articles about the title industry in the past. We would love to have more articles and information to publish in Downdate, Dateline, and on the TLTA Web site. If you have an article you have written, or if there is a topic you are interested in writing about, we want to hear from you. Please send articles or feature ideas to kathy@tlta.com


 VOLUNTEER NOW FOR 2004-2005 TLTA COMMITTEES
We are now in the process of assigning volunteers to the 2004-2005 TLTA committees.  Each year we face many issues of great interest to you as a member of the title industry. As a TLTA committee member, you can directly impact the discussion of these issues and the decisions made by our leadership. Click here for more information.

 

MOVERS AND SHAKERS

RATTIKIN TITLE COMPANY ANNOUNCES NEW CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

FORT WORTH, Texas, March 2, 2004 – Rattikin Title Company has announced that its Board of Directors promoted Jack Rattikin, III to Chief Executive Officer effective January 1, 2004. He replaces Jack Rattikin, Jr. who continues to serve as Chairman of the Board.

Rattikin joined Rattikin Title Company in 1983, and was named President in 1999. He is past president of Texas Land Title Association and Fort Worth Land Title Association. Prior to joining the company, he obtained a Doctorate of Jurisprudence Degree from Texas Tech University School of Law and a B.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.

“Jack is an outstanding title insurance professional and a valuable leader in the industry. We are extremely pleased to have him serve as our new CEO. He has earned this new position through his hard work and excellent decision-making abilities over the past 21 years with our company,” said Larry Townsend, Rattikin Title Company’s Senior Vice President & Chief Escrow Operations Officer. “We are confident that he will continue our reputation of outstanding service and expertise through his leadership.”
 

TLTA MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY

If you’re involved in the title insurance business, the TLTA Directory is the only resource that will give you all the information you need in one easy-to-use reference. Order your copy of the TLTA Membership Directory today, and keep members and associates' names and numbers right at your fingertips.

Click here to order the TLTA Directory ON-LINE.  You can still download an order form and fax it to TLTA at 512.472.5931. 
 

PLACE YOUR ORDER NOW FOR UPDATES TO YOUR BASIC MANUAL

Rule and Home Equity updates to the Texas Title Insurance Basic Manual are now being mailed to those of you who have already placed your order. If you have not ordered your updates, please do so as soon as possible, or your manual will be out-of date as of April 1, 2004. If you are still using the Green Basic Manual, it is out of date. You will need to order a 2002 Edition of the Basic Manual, which will include the Rule and Home Equity Updates.

TWO WAYS TO ORDER UPDATES AND BASIC MANUALS:
Order updates ON-LINE     
 
Download Order Form (pdf)
Please note:  A decision has not yet been announced regarding 2002 RATE Hearing Items. As a result, a second shipment of updates pertaining to the RATE portion of the 2002 Hearing will occur separately. Just as a reminder, the procedure for updating the Basic Manual was changed in July 2002 to the following: The Basic Manual, copyright 2002 (blue cover), was the last reprint of the entire Texas Title Insurance Basic Manual. All subsequent changes in rules and rates are now sold as updates to the Manual. All Texas Title Insurance Basic Manual owners are notified as updates are approved and printed, with an order form available on the TLTA Web site. The cost of each update is based on the extent of the changes to the manual.
 

THE TRAINING AND INFORMATION YOU NEED, WHEN YOU NEED IT

The outstanding participation in our educational programs continued this month with the Land Title School held in Austin March 8-12. The School was sold out for the second year in a row, with 224 participants. TLTA also offered a Rules teleconference on March 22 to provide an overview of the new Rules which will take effect on April 1, 2004. If you missed the teleconference, you can order an audio tape of the presentation. Click here to order the Rules Teleconference Audio Tape.

Upcoming on the Schedule
Management Seminar – April 16, Irving   

South Texas Regional Seminar – April 24, South Padre Island  

Statistical Report Teleconference - April 28, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. CDT  

Annual Conference – June 4-6, Corpus Christi  On-Line Registration Coming Soon!!
 

IT'S Smooth Sailing IN CORPUS CHRISTI JUNE 4-6

Click here to register for the TLTA Annual Conference in Corpus! (On-line Registration coming soon!) Watch your mail for the 2004 Annual Conference brochure and register by April 16 to be eligible to win a conference registration. The Omni Bayfront Hotel is the site of most events and all educational sessions for conference. Rates are $120 single or double at the Omni Bayfront. The Omni Marina Tower, located just steps from the Omni Bayfront, is available at a $95 single or double rate. Call 361.887.1600 to make your reservation by May 13. Don’t forget to mention you are with TLTA in order to receive the conference room rate. Click here to go to the Omni Hotel Web site.

Check the TLTA Web site for updates and additional schedule information.
 

TLTA ACHIEVES GOAL OF 500 INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS

The TLTA Individual Membership program has been an incredible success this year. We now have 568 new Individual Members and the numbers are climbing every week! Click here to see a complete list of Individual Members who have joined since September 2003. We've received some great comments from our newest members, commenting on how much they appreciate the information and updates from TLTA.

Sign up as an Individual Member by April 24 and be eligible for some incredible prizes! For more information click here: http://www.tlta.com/about/indmemberprizepromo.asp.


THE TLTA GREENSHEET

How do you find someone to fill that key position in your firm? Are you looking for the best method to reach other title industry professionals? Whether you're advertising for a job opening or selling your business, equipment or service, the TLTA GREENSHEET is your answer. It's your on-line connection to industry related employment and business opportunities. Click here for the latest GREENSHEET.
 

PUBLICATIONS

Expand your professional library with these TLTA publications:

 “A Handbook for Texas Abstracters and Title Men”  Written by the late Frank A. Stamper, one of the most distinguished members of the Texas title insurance industry, this textbook is a must for every title professional. Topics include The Evolution of Title Evidence and Assurance, The Texas Registration System Reading, Interpretation and Platting of Property Descriptions and The Abstract Plant.

Extra copies of The 2003 Texas Land Title Institute Course Manual are available for purchase. Complete your reference library with this valuable reference tool!

  Click here to go to the TLTA ON-LINE STORE.

Texas Forms Manual, A Guide for Real Estate and Title Documentation is compiled, edited and maintained by fellow TLTA members. The 8½ x 11, loose-leaf volume contains the documents most commonly used to handle a real estate transaction in Texas – all the way to the closing at the title company. Order yours today, and see why so many real estate and title professionals depend on this valuable resource. Click here for ordering information.
 

SEND US YOUR FEEDBACK – AND YOUR IDEAS

We welcome your comments or suggestions about DOWNDATE, as well as other TLTA publications and products. Please forward information to kathy@tlta.com.