February 2009


BOLD GOVERNMENT CAN SOLVE AMERICA'S HOUSING CRISIS

By: Mark Dotzour, Chief Economist -Texas Real Estate Center

America’s housing market problem is fairly simple. Somewhere between one and two million vacant homes need tenants. In some communities, vacant homes are not being cared for, deteriorating the quality of the surrounding neighborhoods. This is causing further price declines, which lead to more foreclosures. The fact is supply is running far ahead of demand. What has to happen for the national housing market to stop falling? 

Mark Dotzour is scheduled to be one of the speakers at TLTA's Annual Conference in June!

TAKING TITLE: INDUSTRY OFFERS PEACE OF MIND

Tierra Grande | Jan 2009

Growth and expansion in one industry generally has positive effects on several others. The real estate boom in the United States and Texas began in 2001 and ended in 2007 benefited the finance, insurance and professional business industries in particular.

A Real Estate Center research program found that the state's real estate title industry grew along with the Texas economy while also contributing to the state's economy by offsetting losses associated with real estate transactions and real estate titles. 

WEEKLY US JOBLESS CLAIMS HIT NEW 26-YEAR HIGH

AFP | Feb 05 2009

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Initial claims for US unemployment benefits surged above 600,000 last week to the highest level since October 1982 amid a deepening recession, government data showed Thursday. A seasonally adjusted 626,000 first-time jobless claims were filed in the week ended January 31, the US Labor Department said, far more than the 580,000 expected by most analysts. The Labor Department revised upward the previous week's claims to 591,000, from 588,000, in its weekly snapshot on unemployment. 

US MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS PLUNGE

Reuters | Jan 28 2009

Applications for U.S. home mortgages cratered last week to levels not seen since November as rates held stubbornly above record lows engineered by the Federal Reserve earlier this month, according to data from an industry group on Wednesday. The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity plunged by 38.8 percent to 732.1 in the week ended Jan. 23. It was 37.1 percent higher than a year earlier. View full story here.

FEDS TO MODIFY TROUBLED MORTGAGES

CNNMoney.com | Jan 27 2009
As required by the federal bailout law, the Federal Reserve will look to prevent foreclosures by modifying the terms on certain delinquent loans, lawmakers said Tuesday. The Fed will seek to adjust delinquent residential mortgages securities it holds, owns or controls, including the assets it took over as part of its rescue of Bear Stearns and American International Group (AIG, Fortune 500). The move doesn't apply to mortgages given as collateral by banks borrowing from the Fed unless the bank defaults on the loans. View full story here

LEARN HOW THE NATIONAL SCENE AFFECTS TEXAS

Join us Wednesday, February 18 at the Omni Southpark in Austin for RESPA Round Up & More: Texas Looks at the National Scene. No other educational program in Texas will provide you with the access and information this program has to offer!

Featuring guest speakers Ivy Jackson, Director of the Office of RESPA and Interstate Land Sales at HUD; Ruth Dillingham, Special Counsel for First American Title Insurance Company; Dawn Enoch Moore, Dawn Enoch Moore, P.C. and Allegiance Title Company; Robert Woods, Director, Local Government and Economic Development for the Texas Comptroller; James E. Hyland, Esq. The Pennsylvania Group, Washington, DC; and Aaron Day, TLTA Government Affairs Director.

Decisions made by elected and government officials affect our everyday lives. Don't miss the opportunity to have your questions answered. 

APPLICATION DEADLINE EXTENDED UNTIL FEBRUARY 12 FOR TLTA CERTIFICATION


The TLTA certification program provides Texas title industry professionals an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, enhances the professionalism of the industry, and it helps to assist employers in their search for qualified job candidates.

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 12 and you qualify for the special introductory price! 

Certified Escrow Settlement Associate - CESA

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Certified Abstract Examination Associate - CAEA

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Certified Title Insurance Associate - CTIA

Download Application


LAND TITLE SCHOOL OF TEXAS OFFERS YOU MORE


For over 30 years, the Land Title School of Texas has provided the essential skills and knowledge every title industry professional needs to succeed. We know budgets are tight and many of you won't be able to attend the whole week, but perhaps you'll consider taking advantage of our one day registration.

OUR NEW WEBINAR IS ELECTRIFYING


Mark your calendar and make plans to join us Thursday, February 19 for our first webinar of 2009 - Electronic Closing: It's Electrifying! Chris Christensen, PiersonPatteron, LLP and Phyllis Mulder, Alliant National Title Insurance Company, will guide you through this one-hour webinar where you'll learn not only the basics, but the impact electronic filings have on lenders and title companies.

Coming soon: March 24 Webinar: Frequently Asked Questions Regarding 2008 Rule Changes

INTRODUCING TLTA'S PRODUCT OF THE MONTH 


Available for the first time - highlights from the highly respected Texas Land Title Institute are now available to watch online or DVD. Offering up to 6.5 hours of CE credits! First recorded on Friday, December 5, 2008 and includes several hot topics you don't want to miss. 

BOARD APPROVES TLTA BYLAWS CHANGE


On January 22, the TLTA Board of Directors voted to amend the TLTA Bylaws. The changes are designed to improve the nominating process. Click here to view the final updated version of the approved Bylaws.

NOMINATIONS FOR 2009-2010 BOARD OF DIRECTORS NOW BEING ACCEPTED


The TLTA Nominating Committee is accepting nominations for the 2009-2010 Board of Directors. If you would like to recommend a TLTA member for consideration, please fill out a form and return it by March 2, 2009.  For more information on eligibility and/or the TLTA nominating process, click here to view the TLTA Bylaws. If you have any questions please contact TLTA Executive Vice President Leslie Midgley at 800.472.1711 or leslie@tlta.com.

WELCOME TO OUR NEW MEMBERS


We would like to welcome our newest members to TLTA. A list of new members approved in January by the TLTA Board of Directors can be viewed on our website.

IT'S TIME TO UPDATE YOUR PROFILE


TLTA has made it even easier for you to keep your contact information up-to-date. Simply log onto your online profile, review your information and make any necessary changes. If you're a TLTA Individual Member your information will be automatically updated in our online directory - so you'll never lose touch. Your log-in information can be found at the bottom of this mailing. If you experience any problems, please call 800.472.1711.

WHO'S MAKING A DIFFERENCE?


Do you know an employee or co-worker who goes above and beyond the call of duty? Someone whose attitude, contributions, and dedication set them apart from all the others. If so, then nominate them for the prestigious TLTA Professional Excellence Award. 

CHRIS PHILLIPS APPOINTED PRESIDENT OF TRG


Earlier last month, TLTA Board member Chris Phillips was appointed as President of Title Resources Guaranty Company, TRG's title insurance underwriting business. 

Chris, who joined TRG in 1985, has over 30 years of experience in the business and most recently served as senior vice president of operations and interim senior leader for TRG. 

JOHN ROTHERMEL APPOINTED REGIONAL UNDERWRITING COUNSEL FOR STEWART TITLE


As part of its recently announced reorganization, Stewart Title has announced TLTA Board Member John Rothermel will serve as the Regional Underwriting Counsel for the Southwest states.

He will continue to serve as Senior Vice President and Associate Senior Underwriter in addition to his duties as Southwest States Regional Underwriting Counsel where he will coordinate underwriting activities in Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas. 

TLTA MOURNS THE LOSS OF MICHAEL C. BARRETT, 1944-2009


Long time TLTA supporter Michael C. Barrett, founder and Chairman of Barrett Daffin Frappier Turner & Engle, LLP, passed away on Sunday, January 13, 2009.

A Memorial Service was held on January 15 at Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas. For additional details or to read the full obituary please click here.
 

WE WANT TO KNOW...


Are you planning to attend TLTA's Annual Conference in June? 


THE RESULTS ARE IN

Last month's survey of TLTA members shows what you're most concerned about in the coming year:

ARE YOU TLTA'S NEXT SUPER STAR?


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. Recruit the MOST Individual Members and you will be recognized at the 2009 Annual Conference as TLTA's new Super Star.