TLTA TASK FORCE STUDYING WAYS FOR AGENTS TO COMPLY WITH NEW WIND-DOWN PLAN REQUIREMENTS - MORE INFORMATION COMING SOON

TDI Observing 90-Day Grace Period - New Compliance Date of May 1

One of the new rules effective Monday, February 1, is a requirement that all agents prepare a wind-down plan and submit it to Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). We have received a number of questions about when this plan is due and what it should include. Based on our inquiries to TDI about this issue, we have been notified that they will observe a 90-day grace period for compliance with this new rule.

TLTA has formed a small working group to study this issue and work with TDI on possible ways for agents to comply with this new regulation by May 1. The group has begun work with a goal of quickly providing you with more information in plenty of time before the rule becomes enforced. Look for more information from us in the very near future. If you have any questions please contact TLTA's Director of Government Affairs, Aaron Day at aaron@tlta.com or 512.472.6593.

BIENNIAL RULES HEARING ORDER TAKES EFFECT FEBRUARY 1

The February 1 Basic Manual update contains changes resulting from the 2008 biennial rule hearing order adopted by TDI Commissioner Geeslin. If you are a Basic Manual Update subscriber, you will receive your hard copy update in the mail this week. If you are not a Basic Manual Update subscriber, clickhere to order your subscription online. 

Additionally, TLTA has prepared an index designed to help you quickly analyze what has changed and how it affects you. This chart can be used as a starting place for quick and easy orientation of the rules and as a launching point for further study.

Please note several items are of particular note. Agents will now be required to develop and review annually a plan for winding down their operations, as well as maintaining auditable records relative to the furnishing of title evidence to clients. There are also some significant and positive new options for title agents including the incorporation of changes in the law allowing you to pass through electronic filing charges and third party tax search service fees as well as the ability to charge for the furnishing of title evidence in a P-24 transaction which does not close. Additionally, there are a variety of new endorsements with which you should become familiar.

2008 AGENT STATISTICAL DATA NOW AVAILABLE


The 2008 Agent Statistical Data is now available on the TLTA website. Please note this is only the agent data; the underwriter statistical information will be available later this spring. If you have any questions please contact TLTA at 512.472.6593 or tlta@tlta.com.

TDHCA MANUFACTURED HOUSING DIVISION INFORMATION NOW AVAILABLE ON TLTA WEBSITE

New Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs Manufactured Housing Division information is now available on the TLTA website. In addition to this helpful information, we’ve also added links to other Industry resources such as the Texas Department of Insurance, County and District Clerks Association, the State Bar of Texas, the FDIC and many more. 

WEBINAR: E-RECORDING...THE TITLE AGENT'S COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 l 10-11 a.m. CST
$69 members | $89 nonmembers | 1 Hour Escrow & Legal Credit

Our latest webinar addresses doing business with digital documents and explains the e-recording process from the title perspective, including an overview of the eDocument legislation that permits e-recording on state and federal levels. You’ll leave this session with a better understanding of the e-recording industry and empowered with knowledge that will help streamline your post closing process.

WEBINAR: ANSWERS TO YOUR GFE AND HUD-1 QUESTIONS

The Texas Land Title Association (TLTA) and The Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT) are teaming up to address the flood of questions that have emerged around the changes to the GFE and HUD-1. Using the resources of both associations, we have assembled a panel of some of Texas’ top lenders, doc-prep attorneys, and title insurance specialists to provide the most current overview and to field your immediate questions coming from the industry.

Webinar: The New GFE - A Line by Line Walk-Through
Friday, February 12, 2010 l 9-10:30 a.m. CST
$99 members | $149 nonmembers | 1.5 Hour Escrow & Legal Credit (pending)

What every Lender needs to know and every Closer should understand about how this form is completed and relates to the HUD-1.

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Webinar: The New HUD-1 - A Line by Line Walk-Through
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 l 9-10:30 a.m. CST
$99 members | $149 nonmembers | 1.5 Hour Escrow & Legal Credit (pending)

What every Lender needs to know and every Closer should understand about how this form is completed and relates to the HUD-1.

DING, DING DING...REGISTER NOW FOR THE 2010 LAND TITLE SCHOOL OF TEXAS

The Land Title School of Texas continues to be the Gold Standard in Texas Title Industry education with over 6,000 industry graduates. This week long program will guide you step-by-step through a hypothetical residential closing, including comprehensive discussions of current forms and procedures. You’ll gain invaluable knowledge and the keys you need to understand the bigger picture. Mark your calendar and REGISTER NOW to join us March 1-5 at the Omni Austin Hotel at Southpark.

INVEST IN YOUR FUTURE AND DEMONSTRATE YOUR KNOWLEDGE

Applications Due February 10th for March TLTA Certification Examinations 

When you become a TLTA certified professional you’re not only demonstrating your knowledge, you’re also enhancing the professionalism of the Texas title industry and making an investment in your future. Now is the time to step up, stand out and commit to a better you, a better year and a better industry.

DOWNLOAD YOUR APPLICATION NOW:
CESA - Certified Escrow Settlement Associate >download application
CAEA - Certified Abstract Examination Associate >download application
CTIA - Certified Title Insurance Associate >download application


IT'S A NEW YEAR, A NEW DECADE AND A NEW AND IMPROVED TLTA DIRECTORY

For the first time ever the TLTA Directory is now available to all TLTA members in a real-time downloadable format that you can print yourself and then store in this special TLTA Directory binder. The new enhanced directory features an interactive county look-up map making it easier to locate your company, along with other title companies across the state. You’ll also notice a new expanded Individual Member section which includes company names for greater exposure and ease of locating individuals within the industry. 

Questions, Comments or Suggestions?
If you have questions, we’re here to help. We’re also anxious to hear your feedback on the new format and your suggestions for how we can improve it in the future. Email us at tlta@tlta.com.

JOHN A. COSELLI, SR., 1916 – 2010


TLTA mourns the loss of Past President John Coselli, Sr., who passed away in Houston in January. After World War II, John joined the law firm of Carl & Lee where he managed the business of Commercial Title Company. In 1971, he joined Chicago Title Insurance Company serving as their regional counsel until his retirement in 2000. In addition to his service to TLTA, John was also a member of the Houston Bar Association, American Bar Association and the Texas Bar Association. In lieu of usual remembrances, donations may be directed to the Cardiovascular Research at Baylor College of Medicine. 

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

MEMBERS JOIN TLTA IN HELPING RELIEF EFFORTS IN HAITI


Last week, we asked you to join the TLTA staff and support the relief efforts in Haiti. The response we received was overwhelming. Many of you are actively supporting and participating in relief efforts in your communities and churches and several of you shared how your businesses were stepping up to respond. For example, Old Republic agreed to contribute $2 for every $1 their employees raised and Winstead PC offices hosted a "blue jeans day" where participants contributed a minimum of $5 to wear blue jeans in the office. Winstead employees raised almost $6,000 and the Firm contributed an additional $5,000. These are just a few of the ways you're reaching out to help in this effort and we'd love to hear what else you or your company is doing in your community. 

Certainty and shelter are two fundamental human necessities that we in the title industry work to provide for people every day. That's our business and we take great pride in the role we serve in this important function of society.

Thank you again for reaching out and making the commitment to help those in their time of need. 

Q&A WITH JULIA NEELY, TLTA'S YOUNG PROFESSIONAL COMMITTEE MEMBER

How did you get started in the title industry? I began my title insurance career at Barrett, Burke, Wilson Castle Daffin & Frappier. I worked in a Fidelity Fee Attorney office where I learned escrow administration, examination, policy preparation and review. I continued to work full time during the summer and holidays and part time during high school and college years for BBW and then BDR. 

After graduation, I accepted full time employment with BDR Title Corporation of Texas, Inc. as an Escrow Assistant. Over the next eight years with the company, I earned positions as an Escrow Assistant, Escrow Officer, Marketing Director, and Branch Manager.

What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a young title professional? I was 24 when I received my escrow officer license; however I had been in the business for 9 years. I was young, excited, ambitious, and ready to start working with everyone. It took me a while to prove myself to some of my colleagues and the entities with whom I did a lot of business.

What advice would you offer to other young professionals who are new to the industry? Don’t give up! The harder you work, the more those around you will see your progress and (although slow) you will gain the respect from your peers.

What are you most proud of professionally or personally? Receiving the TLTA Professional Excellence Award.

What’s your favorite pastime/hobby? I adore music. My goal for early 2010 is to make a Music Room in my home. I play the piano and cello; but really want to learn how to play the guitar.

Name 3 artists on your iPod. Sigur Ros, John Mayer Trio, & Vince Guaraldi

Join The Young Professionals

The new Young Professionals Committee was created to identify and engage a new generation of leaders in the title industry. There's still plenty of opportunities for you to get involved. 

CELIA GOODE-HADDOCK AWARDED BUBBA MOORE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

In December, Celia Goode-Haddock was honored by Bryan/College Station Habitat for Humanity with the Bubba Moore Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is presented to an individual who has shown exemplary service and dedication to Habitat’s ministry and families over the course of many years. 

The Bryan/College Station Habitat for Humanity has been dedicated to eliminating poverty housing and making the right to simple, decent shelter a matter of conscience and action since 1989 and from the beginning Celia has been a generous supporter. 

WEBB COUNTY TITLE PLANT FOR SALE

Bid Proposals Must Be Submitted by February 15, 2010
The Court appointed Liquidator of Webb County Title and Abstract Company, Inc. (“WCTA”) offers for sale the company’s entire title and abstract plant. All sales are “as is, where is” without warranty or representation, and subject to approval of the Receivership Court. Cash offers only.

Interested parties are invited to submit bid proposals, in writing, to WCTA’s Special Deputy Receiver no later than 5:00 p.m. CST on February 15, 2010. All parties are encouraged to inspect the plant; arrangements to do so may be made by contacting Graciela Velazquez at (956) 724-7104.