February 2005

Our thanks to SoftPro for their sponsorship of this issue of DOWNDATE. - SoftPro is the leading provider of real estate closing and title insurance software in the nation.
 

P-53 STATUS

The proposed revision of P-53 was recently sent to all members in a Special President’s Message. On Monday, January 24 the TLTA Board met by conference call, and after much deliberation, voted to support the revised P-53 proposal.  All the other groups involved in the negotiated drafting process, including the Texas Association of Realtors, Texas Association of Builders, and the Title Professionals Association have approved the proposal. The revised P-53 has been sent to the Department this week at the request of all the groups encouraging the Commissioner to publish this revision in the Texas Register for adoption.

Our goal in working with these groups was to develop a rule that is clear, understandable, enforceable and fair - both for those governed by it and for those regulating it. TLTA participated in the negotiation of a workable revision in an attempt to avoid potential legislative intervention into the process. Such a legislative change could jeopardize the entire rule, and negatively impact the title industry in many ways. We ask for your continued support as we work through this difficult process.

Please note: no formal changes have been made to P-53 at this time. Any changes would have to be adopted by the Commissioner before they can become effective. Please click here to read a copy of the final proposal as sent to TDI.

INDUSTRY NEWS

Insurance Commissioner Stepping Down - Texas Department of Insurance Commissioner Jose Montemayor has announced that he will not seek re-appointment when his term ends February 1, 2005. Montemayor has worked for the Department since 1993 and has been Commissioner since 1999. The Commissioner has offered to stay until Gov. Rick Perry appoints his replacement. For additional information, see the January Dateline Austin.

MARKETING TO FOREIGN-BORN CLIENTS

by Nina Ivanichvili reprinted with permission
Don’t overlook marketing land title services in more than one language. 

What do insurance companies and mortgage lenders, drug and food manufacturers have in common?  They are increasingly practicing multicultural marketing, also known as cross-cultural marketing, or multilingual marketing.  In other words, they are setting up web sites, filming commercials, placing print ads and distributing marketing information in the languages spoken by their foreign-born clients in multilingual America.  Do these service providers and product manufacturers know something that many land title firms may be  overlooking?  Possibly.  At the very least, they are taking advantage of several important demographic and cultural trends.

If your land title company wants to expand its client base, why not follow the clues provided by the commercial sector and promote your services to foreign-born clients in their native languages?  Stymied by where to begin?  Here are some basics to consider.  More story

About the Author  Nina Ivanichvili is CEO of All Language Alliance Inc., http://www.LanguageAlliance.com, a foreign language translation firm specializing in legal and corporate translation services. She can be reached at translate@languagealliance.com.

TLTA BOARD MEETING SCHEDULED FOR FEBRUARY 10 IN HOUSTON
The next regularly scheduled TLTA Board of Directors meeting will be held at the Marriott Houston Westchase on Thursday, February 10, 2005 at 1:00 p.m. (immediately following the Houston Regional Seminar). We anticipate that the board meeting will conclude around 5 p.m. The Marriott Houston Westchase is located at 2900 Briarpark Drive. For a map to the hotel, click here.

We encourage you to get involved in your association by attending board meetings. A preliminary agenda is available approximately two weeks prior to each meeting and can be obtained by calling Leslie at the TLTA office at 800.472.1711.

SUBMIT 2005-2006 TLTA BOARD NOMINATIONS BY MARCH 1 

Nominations for the 2005-2006 TLTA Board of Directors are currently being accepted. Active TLTA members are eligible to serve on the Board and all submissions will be considered by the Nominating Committee. The deadline for nominations is March 1, 2005 . If you would like to recommend an active TLTA member for consideration by the Nominating Committee, please send your recommendation via mail, e-mail or fax to:

TLTA Nominating Committee, Texas Land Title Association , 1717 W. 6th St., Suite 120 Austin , Texas 78703, e-mail: leslie@tlta.com, fax: 512.472.5931

REPRESENT TLTA FOR A DAY!  MARCH 2 IS TLTA DAY AT THE CAPITOL

The 2005 TLTA Day at the Capitol is March 2, 2005 at the Radisson Hotel & Suites in Austin. Day at the Capitol is a great opportunity for you to get involved in the legislative process and increase our industry impact! Attendees will meet face to face with their local representative or senator.

Don’t know who represents you? Don’t know the issues affecting our industry? Don’t worry! Legislative visits are scheduled by the TLTA staff and our program includes a comprehensive overview of the issues and helpful tips for visiting with your legislator. Don’t miss this opportunity! Register today to receive the official Texas Legislative Guide and earn an hour of Continuing Education credit.

EDWARDS ABSTRACT AND TITLE COMPANY NAMED AFFILIATE OF THE MONTH

Edwards Abstract and Title Co. received special recognition during the first meeting of 2005 by the Women’s Council of Realtors in McAllen. Edwards was recognized as “Affiliate of the Month” for the company’s continued support of the organization. Several of the Edwards team attend the monthly meetings and the company is a Platinum Member of WCR. The Women’s Council of Realtors is a national organization that empowers and educates members working in the real estate profession. 

HOOD ABSTRACT COMPANY CELEBRATES THEIR 100TH ANNIVERSARY!

We would like to extend our congratulations to Hood Abstract Company as they celebrate their 100th anniversary in the abstract and title business. A party was held on December 15, 2004 to commemorate the company's historic tenure in the industry. Hood Abstract is located in Canadian, Texas in Hemphill County.

ORDER YOUR EXTRA TLTA MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORIES NOW!

Need extra copies of the TLTA 2005 Membership Directory? Order yours now, and keep members and associates' names and numbers right at your fingertips. 

ADDITIONAL LISTING - TLTA MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY

Please include the following additional listing in your 2004-2005 membership directory:

FOARD COUNTY 
Homestead Title Company, Inc. Abstracts, STG 
106 E. Commerce St.
P.O. Box 850
Crowell, TX 79227
PHONE: 940/684-1763, Toll Free 800/805-6435, FAX 940/684-1646 
http://www.westex.net/halencak/ 
ross1dh@chipshot.net

JANE HALENCAK 
President/Escrow Officer 

DARYL R. HALENCAK
Vice President/Escrow Officer  

2005 SEMINARS AND EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

As you can see, we are continuing to add to the list of seminars and programs for those working in the title industry. If you haven't had the chance to attend a TLTA seminar, now's the time! For more information about any of these events, or to view the 2004-2005 education calendar, click here.

February 8, 2005 (Tuesday)
Right Rules, Correct Calculations Workshop PLUS  Understanding Endorsements  
Marriott Westchase, Houston

February 9-10, 2005 (Wednesday/Thursday)
Houston Regional Seminar
Marriott Westchase, Houston
 
March 7-11, 2005
Land Title School of Texas
Omni Hotel Southpark, Austin
 
April 9, 2005 (Saturday)
South Texas Regional Seminar
Radisson Resort, South Padre Island
 
April 19, 2005 (Tuesday)
Advanced Closing Seminar
Hotel Derek, Houston
 
April 20, 2005
Management Seminar
Hotel Derek, Houston

TAKE A SNEAK PEEK AT THE GAYLORD TEXAN - SITE OF THE TLTA ANNUAL CONFERENCE!

Click here to get a bird’s eye view of this spectacular resort and all its amenities. Under an incredible glass atrium you’ll find four-and-half acres depicting various regions of Texas. Explore the Riverwalk, Texas Hill Country, or Lone Star Tower and experience accommodations and services fit for a cattle baron! Since the Gaylord Texan is a new property and has quickly become a popular summer destination, we expect rooms to sell out early. Make your reservations online and utilize TLTA's group code, A-TLT05 to receive the $164 room rate. Note: We recommend that you choose "Lone Star Texas View" or "Lone Star Atrium View" rooms to be closer to the TLTA meeting rooms!

2005 CONFERENCE FULL MEMBER REGISTRATION FEES REDUCED!

As an added bonus, we've reduced full member registration fees by 26%! That means a full member registration that cost $400 last year will now cost $295. Make plans now to bring the family to Grapevine and The Gaylord Texan Resort June 9-11!

ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT TO BENEFIT TLTA PAC

Based on input from last year’s annual conference participants, this year we’ll return to a tournament format and the event will be a fundraiser for PAC.  We’ll be sending out sponsorship information soon, but we encourage you to support the PAC by sponsoring or playing in the TLTA Annual Golf Tournament. The tournament will be held on June 9, the first day of the Annual Conference.

TLTA STAFF PROFILE - MINDY CARR

Mindy is the Director of Government Affairs for TLTA. She oversees both the legislative and regulatory departments for the association and is the "in-house" lobbyist. Before joining TLTA in January 2002, she was the Government Affairs Assistant for the Texas Apartment Association. Prior to her lobbying career, Mindy worked for a number of legislators at the state capitol and worked on various campaigns. She has been working in state government and the government affairs arena for the past ten years. Mindy was born in Waco, Texas and grew up in Abilene. She graduated from Texas Tech University with a major in Spanish and minor in Political Science. She moved to Austin in the early 90s to begin a career in politics and government. She is married to Snapper Carr, a fellow lobbyist, and has two boys, Major and Chapell. She's a member of The Junior League of Austin and enjoys jazzercize, UT football games and traveling.

MEMBERSHIP NEWS

The Member Services Committee, chaired by Sally Vetters, is asking TLTA members to help identify approved attorneys that we can recruit for associate membership. The committee’s goal is increase TLTA's associate membership ranks this year and one untapped source are approved attorneys who work in the title industry. We are sending out an e-mail requesting the names of those attorneys that you work with, in hopes that we can entice them to join TLTA. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A FORM FOR SUBMITTING YOUR PROSPECTIVE MEMBER SUGGESTIONS.

GET INVOLVED - BECOME AN INDIVIDUAL MEMBER  

Stay up-to-date on industry issues including new laws and regulations. As an individual member, you will receive all TLTA newsletters, seminar and program announcements, Breaking News, and Legislative Alerts. As an Individual member, you will have a voice in the decisions that impact your livelihood and your profession. As an added benefit, you will receive a membership certificate that can be displayed in your work area and your name will be listed in the TLTA Membership directory in the Individual Member section. We currently have 680 Individual Members, but there are many of you who have not joined. Click here to view a list of current TLTA Individual Members.

Thanks to all of you who responded to our TLTA Membership Survey in January. If you did not complete the survey, and would like to do so, please click here. We will be analyzing your responses and reviewing possible programs and services as a result of your feedback. Congratulations to Mike Lang of Kendall County Abstract in Boerne, the winner of the gift certificate, for responding by January 28.

PUBLIC RELATIONS TOOL FOR MEMBERS

The TLTA Public Relations Committee has been working on developing a printed piece that would promote the title industry and be a benefit for members in reaching consumers, the public and other associations and organizations. A draft of the brochure is in the final stages of editing and approval. As soon as the brochure is printed we will be mailing it out to our member companies.

THE TLTA GREENSHEET

The TLTA Greensheet is the fastest, easiest way to reach over 5,000 people in the industry. Whether you're advertising for a job opening or selling your business, equipment or service, an ad in the Greensheet will get immediate results! It's your on-line connection to industry related employment and business opportunities. Click here for the latest GREENSHEET.

PUBLICATIONS

Click here to go to the TLTA On-line Store or to download an order form 

Expand your professional library with these TLTA publications: 

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.

“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 2004 Texas Land Title Institute Course Manual are available for purchase. Complete your reference library with this valuable reference tool! 

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.