January 2009


HUD DELAYS IMPLEMENTATION OF REQUIRED USE RULE

HUD announced on Thursday that they have delayed the implementation of the Required Use provision of the new RESPA regulations.  Originally set to go into effect on January 12, the provision will now be delayed for 90 days due to a lawsuit filed by the National Association of Homebuilders.  

The required use rule would prevent home builders from offering incentives or discounts to buyers that use specific settlement services providers, like title and escrow companies, brokers or lenders. This rule would affect title companies that are affiliated with homebuilders if implemented. 

Click here for additional information from HousingWire.com.

TLTA ANNUAL CONFERENCE MOVES BACK TO TEXAS

As reported in the Breaking News on December 18, the TLTA Board of Directors voted to bring the 2009 TLTA Conference back to Texas, making participation more accessible for everyone.

TLTA's Annual Conference will be held June 17-19 at the Westin La Cantera Resort in San Antonio. Additional information regarding registration and hotel reservations will soon be coming your way. If you have any questions, please contact TLTA.

RATE HEARING SET FOR JUNE 2-5, 2009

The State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) has officially scheduled the Biennial Rate Hearing to commence at 8:30 a.m. on June 2, 2009, and continue through June 5, 2009. To view the hearing notice click here.

TLTA Staff, legal counsel and expert witnesses are making preparations to present the industry's case and we will keep you posted on our progress. For a list of agenda items and TLTA's positions please click here. Please contact Aaron Day with questions or comments.

ALTA RELEASES THIRD QUARTER FINANCIAL RESULTS FOR TITLE INDUSTRY

ALTA has released the third quarter financial results for the title industry. The report outlines an operating loss of $332.1 million, compared to an operating gain of $168.7 million for same period in 2007. View ALTA's full press release here.

BAILOUT REPORT CARD: HOW SUCCESSFUL HAVE THE FINANCIAL RELIEF EFFORTS BEEN?

Time Magazine | Jan 05 2009
You have probably read about the $700 billion approved by Congress in a contentious vote in early October. But that's only the most public portion of the money the government is shelling out to restart the nation's stalled financial system. In the past 16 weeks, the government has pledged, loaned or invested some $10 trillion. Read full story here.

REAL ESTATE MARKETS STILL PLUMB FOR BOTTOM

Wall Street Journal | Jan 02 2009
What began as a bad year for real estate turned into one of the worst on record, driven by an unprecedented drop in home prices, a tide of foreclosures and a credit crisis whose magnitude few anticipated. Read full story here.

JUMBO MORTGAGE LOAN RATES PUT DAMPER ON REFINANCING

The Boston Globe | Jan 05 2009
While plunging mortgage rates have spawned a frenzy of refinancing, borrowers with larger, so-called jumbo loans are still seeing interest rates in the 7 percent range, prompting many to abandon refinancing plans altogether or resort to creative transactions. Read full story here.

WHO SAW THE HOUSING BUBBLE COMING?

Forbes | Jan 01 2009
The current economic crisis is raising many legitimate questions about the failure of economists and financial analysts to foresee the housing bubble and warn of its collapse. Read full story here.

INVEST IN YOURSELF AND YOUR PROFESSION - APPLY FOR TLTA CERTIFICATION TODAY!

The TLTA certification program provides a format for Texas title insurance professionals to demonstrate their knowledge, enhances the professionalism of the industry, and assists employers in their search for qualified job candidates. During difficult economic times, we are reminded that it isn't enough to have just the knowledge or skills - you must have both. Now is the time to act -- apply for certification today.

For complete details on the program, click here. Each designation represents a measure of achievement and proficiency in the Texas title insurance industry and provides a pathway for career development.

Apply by February 2 and you qualify for the special introductory price!

Certified Escrow Settlement Associate - CESA
Download Application
 
Certified Abstract Examination Associate - CAEA
Download Application
 
Certified Title Insurance Associate - CTIA
Download Application
 

CHANGE IS IN THE WIND - GET UP TO SPEED ON RESPA REFORM AND MORE

Owners, managers, escrow and compliance officers should plan to attend the RESPA Round Up & More: Texas Looks at the National Scene. Join us on February 18 at the Omni Southpark in Austin and learn more about the key point in the RESPA final rule - plus how the new administration in Washington may affect the industry - where Texas stands on the issues and more. 
Guest speakers include Ruth Dillingham, Special Counsel for First American Title Insurance Company, Boston, MA; James E. Hyland, Esq. from the Pennsylvania Group, Washington, DC; Dawn Enoch Moore from Allegiance Title Company, Dallas; and Aaron Day, TLTA Government Affairs Director.  

The RESPA Round Up & More is the perfect forum to get ready, get answers, and plan for the future.

Space is limited for this special event -- Register today!

THE LAND TITLE SCHOOL OF TEXAS - REGISTER EARLY AND SAVE

ANNUAL LAND TITLE SCHOOL OF TEXAS -- MARCH 2-6, 2009
For over 30 years, the Land Title School of Texas has provided the essential skills and knowledge every title industry professional needs to succeed. Offered only once a year, this is your opportunity to get in-depth comprehensive title industry training. You will learn from a diverse faculty featuring industry experts and earn points towards certification. 
Don't pass up this premier program - Register Today!


STAR LIGHT, STAR BRIGHT... WILL YOU COMMIT TO BE TLTA'S 2009 SUPER STAR TONIGHT?

Your involvement is vital to keeping the industry and the association strong - so start spreading the word about becoming a TLTA Individual Member.

Recruit 10 or more Individual Members and you will automatically become a Star in TLTA's Circle of Stars and your name will be added to the TLTA website. Recruit the MOST Individual Members and you will be recognized at the 2009 Annual Conference as TLTA's new Super Star.

RESOLVE TO LET TLTA MAKE 2009 EASIER FOR YOU

We've made it easier for you to keep your Basic Manual up-to-date by offering a subscription service. When you sign up for the Basic Manual subscription you no longer have to worry if your Basic Manual is up-to-date and you save $$$$!

The 2009 annual subscription is just $35 and every update will be shipped directly to you at no additional cost. Sign up today!

Is your Basic Manual up-to-date? Here's how to tell:

WHAT HAS TLTA DONE FOR YOU LATELY?

TLTA represents you at both the statehouse and on the Hill in Washington, DC. With an upcoming legislative session and a new administration, these eyes and ears looking out for you provide a valuable member benefit. Want the insider's scoop during the upcoming Legislative Session? Join the TLTA Caucus today!

HUGHES BUTTERWORTH, JR. 1931-2008

 TLTA Past President and President of LandAmerica Lawyers Title of El Paso Hughes Butterworth passed away on December 29, 2008. His decades-long work in the land title industry earned him several awards and honors throughout the region and state, including TLTA's 1980 Title Man of the Year.

Throughout his TLTA service, Hughes served on the TLTAPAC Board of Trustees and numerous TLTA Committees. Hughes also served as president of the El Paso County Historical Society and on the board of the United Way of El Paso.  If you would like more information please click here. To read the full obituary please click here.

WHAT'S YOUR OPINION?

We want to know what issues you are most concerned about in the coming year:
A. Economy
B. Healthcare
C. Taxes
D. Education
E. Foreign Policy
F. Social Issues