TLTA AND ALTA ENTER INTO MEMBERSHIP AGREEMENT 

TLTA Agent Members Now Eligible for ALTA Membership at Greatly Reduced Rate

After months of negotiations, TLTA has entered into a groundbreaking agreement with the American Land Title Association (ALTA), which will, for the first time ever, make membership in ALTA available to all TLTA agent members at a greatly reduced rate. 

This historic agreement between TLTA, the largest and strongest land title association in the country and ALTA, our national counterpart, ushers in a new era of cooperation and collaboration for our two organizations at a time when our industry most stands to benefit from this strategic alliance. This unique partnership, the first of its kind in the country, positions TLTA as the leader and the standard bearer for establishing a stronger role for states in the national dialogue. 

Why is it important to be a member of both associations? As you know, our way of doing business and the way we are regulated is being challenged on a daily basis, and more and more that debate is happening in Washington, D.C. While TLTA has a strong presence of our own at the federal level, ALTA is on the ground every day working to represent the industry nationwide, and TLTA members need that larger presence. Simply put, we must take our federal efforts to the next level and this partnership provides us the opportunity to do that. 

Also, as ALTA formulates their advocacy policies and determines how to represent the industry as a whole, Texas needs to be at the table with a bigger voice in the decisions that get made - decisions that directly affect your business and ultimately your livelihood. By having large numbers of TLTA members participate in the process as active ALTA members and volunteer leaders, we have a seat at the table and we strengthen our organization and our industry in Texas. 

This new membership opportunity will be available exclusively to Texas agents who are members of TLTA and will be provided as on option on the TLTA dues statements this Spring. It is not applicable to TLTA Underwriter members since they are already ALTA members through their home offices. 

We are pleased to have been able to negotiate this special program on behalf of the TLTA membership. If you have any questions, please contact TLTA Executive Vice President Leslie Midgley at leslie@tlta.com or 512.472.6593. 

SENATE BANKING COMMITTEE TAKES UP CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION LEGISLATION

Last week, the Senate Banking Committee, chaired by Senator Chris Dodd, passed the Consumer Financial Protection legislation. The bill, now known as the “Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010”, creates a Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection which will be housed within the Federal Reserve.

TLTA has worked diligently throughout the bill's progress to try and remove both "title insurance" and "settlement service providers" from inclusion in the bill. While this new bill appears to be an improvement over previous versions, TLTA along with ALTA and other state land title associations will continue to work to ensure "settlement service providers" not be referenced in the bill.

Please note, there are still a few more important steps in the process and as history of this bill has demonstrated, anything can quickly change. A version of the bill has already passed the House and the full Senate is expected to hear the "Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010" sometime in late April or early May.

TLTA continues to be your advocate on this important issue and we will continue to keep you informed of our progress. If you have any questions, please contact Aaron Day, TLTA Director of Government Affairs at aaron@tlta.com.

Recent News Article:
>> Read The Washington Post's Concessions on Financial Reform Bill Yield Few Gains in Senate

SOAK UP SOME EDUCATION AND SUN IN SOUTH PADRE WITH TLTA

Two Great Tracks Designed For You

Join us Saturday, April 24 for TLTA’s South Texas Seminar in South Padre. With two great tracks to choose from you’ll learn more about Loan Troubles, Living with RESPA, 2010 Rules and Form Changes and much more! With our multiple registrant discounts, we're making it more affordable for your office to bring the entire team.

TLTA'S ANNUAL CONFERENCE & BUSINESS MEETING IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER AND...

The landscape is changing, not only for TLTA Conference & Business Meeting, but for the title industry itself. We’ve put together a top-notch line up of speakers and sessions to help you deal with today’s challenges and be ready for tomorrow’s. Here are a few of the highlights:

Opening Session Wednesday features Mark Dotzour, Ph.D., Chief Economist at the Texas A&M Real Estate Center as he shares the numbers today and his outlook for Texas and the nation in the next year. 

Chris Williston, President and CEO of the Independent Banker’s Association of Texas joins us with the lender’s perspective on lessons learned from the financial crisis during Thursday morning’s General Session. 

Industry Insights and Trends from the National Underwriter Perspective takes center stage at Thursday afternoon’s general session, where Bert Massey moderates this panel discussion and Q&A session with CEOS and top executives from the four major national underwriters. 

In addition, you can choose from concurrent hot topic sessions on Working within the Multi-Generational Landscape; Emerging Business Solutions; Dealing with Troubled Loans or Living with RESPA.

CHANGING LANDSCAPES - TLTA Annual Conference & Business Meeting
June 23-25, 2010 - Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe

TLTA-IBAT RESPA WEBINAR QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE


During the February TLTA-Independent Bankers Association of Texas “Line-by-Line” webinars, participants submitted many questions regarding the new RESPA rule. TLTA has now compiled the questions and “unofficial” answers from the webinar presenter panel and added the document as a FREE resource for title professionals. 

*These “unofficial answers” resulted from an educational event and do not represent legal advice from TLTA or an official statement from any governmental entity. Before you take any action based on the interpretation of a rule or statute, you should consult with your own legal counsel or underwriter counsel.

LAND TITLE SCHOOL OF TEXAS 2010

The 2010 Land Title School of Texas was held March 1-5 at the Omni Southpark in Austin and once again received rave reviews. A diverse lineup of faculty from across the industry covered basics from A to Z using a hypothetical residential transaction. On Thursday, participants were treated to TLTA’s Annual Legislative Luncheon featuring fellow industry professional Representative Patrick Rose.

"Excellent course. Would recommend to others. Very informative, enjoyed all the speakers. Thanks to ALL!"

- 2010 Attendee

YOUNG PROFESSIONALS HAPPY HOURS IN AUSTIN & HOUSTON

The first TLTA Young Title Professionals Happy Hour events are just around the corner! Make plans now to join us on April 8 in either Austin or Houston for this special kickoff event where you’ll have the opportunity to meet other young professionals and have the opportunity to talk with TLTA mentors and volunteer leaders. 

Join the TLTA Young Professionals Network to ensure you receive all future young professional information. 

JOIN THE RANKS AND ENJOY THE PERKS

Become a TLTA Individual Member Today and Get 6 Months FREE* as Well as All These Great Benefits:

Listing in TLTA Directory
Your listing in the printed and online version of the TLTA Membership Directory, including your city and company name for ease of finding you and your company.

Customized Email Signature Line to use on your email correspondence, identifying you as a TLTA member and committed title professional. 

Automatic Entry into Conference Jackpot Drawing!
You are automatically eligible to win one complimentary Full Conference Registration, three night’s accommodations at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe (during 2010 TLTA Conference dates) and roundtrip airfare for one to Reno, Nevada! 

JAMES GANZER NAMED NORTH AMERICAN TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY’S TEXAS STATE AGENCY MANAGER

Earlier this month, North American Title Insurance Company (NATIC) announced that James (Jim) Ganzer will be the new Texas State Agency Manager. Jim has over 17 years of experience in the Texas title industry and prior to joining NATIC he served as Executive Vice President of title insurance operations in Texas, was involved in several start-up title agencies, and served as a commercial and residential sales manager. Jim said, “I’m looking forward to using my experience and knowledge to work with NATIC agents to address the challenges of today’s market and create valuable relationships with our growing independent agent base in Texas.” 

Nominate Them for a TLTA Professional Excellence Award
In today’s challenging work climate, it is more important than ever to recognize outstanding achievements. Do you know an employee, co-worker or colleague who goes above and beyond their required job description, who contributes to their employer and their industry through attitude, character and deed? 

COUNTY COURTHOUSES THE GATEWAY TO OUR PAST

As a title industry professional, you’re well aware of the importance and impact made by your county courthouses. These historic institutions hold the keys to Texas’ rich history and they help to connect both Texans and non-Texans to the past. In recent years, the number of historical tourists visiting Texas’ courthouses has grown exponentially and it’s estimated that they bring in much needed revenue for the state. 

One such tourist is Elizabeth Schober, mother of TLTA member Janet Minke, who has visited over 120 of Texas’ 254 courthouses. Elizabeth’s appreciation of courthouses began as a child growing up in Wheaton, Illinois. During the 1920’s she and her sister would walk through the grounds of Dupage County Courthouse right past the big red stone building with a tower and a four-faced clock. It’s the same tower her great grandfather climbed in 1871 to watch the now infamous Chicago fire and where her Aunt Julia would go to sit in the courtrooms and watch as “women got their rights.” 

When Elizabeth was 11 she moved to Texas and witnessed the building of the new Jefferson County courthouse. Throughout her life in Texas, she would work in several courthouses across the state and has toured even more. She’s seen everything from coastal courthouses with no windows, plain stucco boxes tucked here and there after courthouses have outgrown their space, and the fully restored majestic courthouses that make you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time. Although it’s been a while since she’s had an opportunity to do another courthouse tour, she contends that Tarrant County remains her favorite. 

PRESERVING AND PROTECTING OUR HISTORY

Since 2006, TLTA has partnered with the Texas Historical Commission to sponsor the Courthouse Restoration Stewardship Program. This program helps to educate courthouse employees to ensure courthouses do not become vulnerable once they are restored through the Commission's restoration programs. 

This year, TLTA had to reduce the amount of funds to the program and we need our members’ help to bridge the gap. We are asking you to consider becoming a $1000 or $2500 partner sponsor. When you become a partner sponsor you’re showing your commitment to your community, not to mention the excellent PR your company will receive. 

Join us today and you’ll be recognized for your efforts during the THC-TLTA Stewardship Workshop in April. Simply fill out the sponsorship form and mail it in with your check to 1717 W. Sixth Street Ste. 120, Austin, TX 78703. 

Special thanks to West Texas Title Company in Lubbock and Mackie, Wolf & Zientz, P.C. in Dallas for becoming our first partners to sponsor.

PUBLIC NOTICE REGARDING SOUTHERN TITLE INSURANCE CORPORATION

Please take notice that Southern Title Insurance Corporation (“Southern Title”) has ceased issuing title insurance policies in the State of Texas effective December 15, 2008. Southern Title is a title insurance underwriter who issues title insurance policies through several title insurance agents. For a list of these agents please contact Southern Title. Southern Title will maintain sufficient financial reserves to cover claims against title insurance policies currently in force. Should you have questions, please contact Southern Title at 1051 East Cary Street, Three James Center # 700, Richmond, Virginia 23219, (804) 648-6000 or http://www.southerntitle.com

Complaints regarding Southern Title should be reported to the Texas Department of Insurance at P.O. Box 149104, Austin, Texas 78714-9104, (512) 305-2026 or http://www.tdi.state.tx.us