July 2009


RATE HEARING AT SOAH POSTPONED TO SEPTEMBER

As we reported earlier in the Dateline Austin, there was a pre-hearing conference held in May at the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH). During the conference administrative law judges ruled on motions, objections and discussed scheduling matters. One of the motions under consideration was filed by the Office of Public Insurance Counsel to compel discovery. The judges ruled in favor of OPIC making it impossible for the parties involved in the discovery to meet the scheduled date for the rate hearing, originally scheduled to convene on June 2. Therefore, the judges rescheduled the hearing to begin on September 14, 2009 and continue throughout the week. We are disappointed by the delay, but will continue to represent your interests as we prepare for the hearing in September. 

TLTA, along with other parties to the hearing (TDI, OPIC, etc.) filed statements of position after the pre-hearing conference. 

CHIEF ECONOMIST AND BANKING EXECUTIVE OFFER INSIGHT ON TEXAS' ECONOMY AT TLTA CONFERENCE

During the general session at the TLTA Annual Conference, Cliff McCauley, Executive Vice President of Frost Bank, and Mark Dotzour, Chief Economist for the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, offered their insight on the latest information regarding Texas' economic future.


Cliff McCauley
 
McCauley began his portion of the program by stressing that local banking institutions, such as community banks, were well capitalized and that people in the community could feel secure with their investments. Although some parts of the state have negative loan growth, other parts of Texas have held their own or are showing signs of growth in their return of assets for the first quarter of 2009, as compared to 2008. As a result of the current economic climate, banks' loan growth has slowed and McCauley said he anticipates the trend to continue throughout the year.


Mark Dotzour
 
Dotzour explained that since 1943 the United States has experienced eight recessions - the longest recession to date began in February 2001 and lasted 29 months. The greatest job loss was 4.3 million or 10.1% during the great depression and the highest unemployment rate was 10.8% back in the 80's. Although our current recession began in December 2007, Dotzour believes we’re seeing some early signs of the bottom. For example, the Conference Board's Index of Leading Indicators rising in April after falling seven months. Single-family housing starts increased in both March and April, although total housing starts are at the lowest level since 1959. Dotzour cautioned that we are not out of the woods, but the tax credit should help stimulate buyers and he believes that housing demand will resume when the threat of price decline diminishes. Taking this and other factors into account, he anticipates Texas' new home constructions will hit bottom in 2009 and could then rebound sharply if the US economy starts to mend in 2010. 

HUD ESTIMATES $30 BILLION IN REVERSE MORTGAGES FOR FY 2010

ReverseMortgageDaily.com | June 29, 2009

When the Department of Housing and Urban Development unveiled its 2010 budget request last month, it included a request for $798 million credit subsidy for the FHA’s reverse mortgage program. It’s the first time HUD has requested a subsidy for the program and left many questioning if the HECM needs to change in order to ensure the viability of the product. Click here for full story.

MARQUEZ CONFIRMED AS HUD ASSISTANT SECRETARY

RealEstateRama.com | June 26, 2009

Mercedes Marquez was unanimously confirmed as an Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. As the former general manager of the City of Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD), Marquez will lead HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development which administers nearly $8 billion in programs designed to stimulate community development, affordable housing, as well as a variety of special needs assistance programs. 

HOME-PRICE RECOVERY MAY BE UNDERMINED BY APPRAISALS

Bloomberg.com | June 24, 2009

There may be another culprit scuttling a U.S. housing recovery: low home appraisals. Flawed appraisals are derailing real estate sales and depressing values across the U.S., the National Association of Realtors said yesterday as it reported that existing home prices declined 17 percent in May from a year earlier. 

SUMMER LEARNING IS EASY WITH TLTA'S EDUCATION ON DEMAND


Did you know that TLTA provides distance education opportunities in addition to our in-person programs? You can easily earn your Continuing Education credit by means of our online videos, DVDs, and e-learning courses. With over 30 hours of credit currently available and more being added, TLTA is your go-to source for all your educational needs. Check out our online store or browse our educational opportunities and sign up today.

TLTA PRODUCT OF THE MONTH


The Texas Forms Manual, a guide for real estate and title documentation, information is now available on the TLTA website. The Texas Forms Manual is compiled, edited and maintained by TLTA member Charles J. Jacobus. The letter size, loose-leaf volume contains documents most commonly used to handle a real estate transaction in Texas and has proven invaluable in fulfilling the Texas real estate practitioner's needs. The guide is organized to provide an initial checklist to assist you and your staff in assembling all the necessary documents and is available in both diskette and CD ROM. Order your Texas Forms Manual today!

NEW TLTA BOARD ELECTED AT ANNUAL CONFERENCE


During the 2009 Annual Conference, TLTA installed the 2009-2010 Board of Directors. The TLTA Board of Directors includes: President Mark C. Greek, First American Title Insurance Company, Houston; President-Elect Brian Pitman, Independence Title Company, Austin; Immediate Past President Celia C. Flowers, East Texas Title Companies, Tyler; Underwriter At-Large Director Richard Black, Stewart Title Guaranty Company, Austin; Underwriter At-Large Director James A. Johnson, Charter Title Company, Houston; Agent At-Large Director Celia R. Goode-Haddock, University Title Company, College Station; Agent At-Large Director Jack Rogers, AmeriPoint Title San Antonio, San Antonio; Underwriter Section Chair Joe Grealish, Fidelity National Title Group, Houston; Underwriter Section Vice-Chair J. Christopher Phillips, Title Resources Guaranty Company, Dallas; Underwriter Section Delegate Phyllis J. Mulder, Alliant National Title Insurance Company, San Antonio; Agent Section Chair Randy D. Pittman, West Texas Abstract & Title Company, Midland; Agent Section Vice-Chair Dawn Enoch Moore, Allegiance Title Company, Dallas; Agent Section Delegate John King, Sierra Title of Hidalgo County, McAllen.

Contact information for the Board of Directors is available on the TLTA website

View Mark Greek's 1st President's Message declaring 2009-2010 as the Year of the Volunteer.

WELCOME TO OUR NEW MEMBERS


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

TLTA DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS EARNS CERTIFIED ASSOCIATION EXECUTIVE DESIGNATION


TLTA is proud to announce that Mary Beth Kiser, TLTA Director of Operations, has earned the Certified Association Executive credential. The CAE is the highest professional credential in the association industry and less than five percent of all association professionals have earned the CAE. To earn the Certified Association Executive designation, an applicant must have a minimum of three years experience in nonprofit organization management, complete a minimum of 75 hours of specialized professional development, pass a stringent examination in association management, and pledge to uphold a code of ethics. 

Mary Beth joined TLTA in 2003 and holds a Bachelor's of Arts from The University of Texas. She and her husband Don live in Austin with their two sons. Congratulations Mary Beth!

2009 TLTA ANNUAL CONFERENCE PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS


View the 2009 Annual Conference slide show online. Who knows, we may have snapped a picture or two of you!

BRUCE LIESMAN NAMED TITLE PERSON OF THE YEAR

 
TLTA awarded Bruce Liesman, Vice President and General Counsel of Independence Title Company in San Antonio, with the esteemed Title Person of the Year Award. The award recognizes significant and longtime contributions to the title industry and the association. It is the highest distinction bestowed by TLTA.

BERT V. MASSEY, II AWARDED 2009 JAMES H. GARST PRESIDENT'S AWARD


Celia Flowers awarded longtime TLTA member Bert Massey, of Brown County Abstract Company, Inc., the 2009 James H. Garst President's Award. The award recognizes the achievements of an individual who has shown outstanding service to the TLTA president during his or her year in office.

TLTA RECOGNIZES NEW HONORARY MEMBERS AT ANNUAL CONFERENCE

At the Annual Conference, TLTA awarded honorary membership to four past presidents - Diane Dietert, Alex Halff, B.B. Schraub and the late Hughes Butterworth, Jr., who was awarded the designation posthumously. The honor is in recognition of their countless contributions to the association and the title industry over many years.

ROLAND LOVE AND JULIA NEELY HONORED WITH PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE AWARDS

Roland Love and Julia Neely
 
TLTA awarded Professional Excellence Awards to Roland Love, Shareholder of Winstead P.C. in Dallas, and Julia Neely, Branch Manager for the Austin and San Antonio divisions of B-D-R Title Corporation of Texas, Inc. The award recognizes individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the title industry and honors individuals for their extraordinary achievements.

CHRIS CANGELOSI NAMED TLTA'S 2009 RISING STAR

Chris Cangelosi, Vice President of Washington County Abstract Company in Brenham, was awarded the 2009 Rising Star Award. The award recognizes up-and-coming leaders and individuals who have made exceptional contributions as TLTA committee members and who have been identified as future industry leaders. 

TERESA FROST RECEIVES SUPER STAR AWARD


TLTA presented Teresa Frost, Vice President and Director of Training and Education with Fidelity National Title, the Super Star Award. The award recognizes the member who recruited the most Individual Members for the association during 2008-2009. Teresa recruited 30 new individual members.

THANK YOU TO OUR 2009 ANNUAL CONFERENCE SPONSORS




MARK YOUR CALENDAR AND MAKE PLANS TO JOIN US FOR THE 2010 CONFERENCE


Make plans to join us June 22-24, 2010 for the TLTA Annual Conference at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe in Incline Village.