WE, TITLE

By: Dan Hassen, Sr. Vice President, Old Republic National Title Insurance Company

The easy premise of an essay published in 1958 triggered a notion that just might humble anyone vain enough to believe they should be the ultimate authority over our important industry that seems so simple but remains so complex.

Leonard E. Reed (September 26, 1898 – May 14, 1983) was the founder of the Foundation for Economic Education. His most famous essay entitled "I, Pencil" is a persuasive story which essentially promotes the idea that no single person on the planet has the knowledge and skill to produce a simple pencil with an eraser. Where "I, Pencil" awakened a generation some 50 years ago, We, Title, my shamelessly bootlegged imitation of this month's musings, is modestly offered up to those of us in this exceptional industry who put the components of title together to create something that looks as simple as a twenty-cent pencil.

We are title. We are first the ordinary men and women mostly unknown to the public who manage the bits and pieces of defects, uncertainties, encumbrances, covenants and grave doubts contained within the public record whatever that may mean. We are then the everyday commoners who to the best of our ability stand firm as an unbiased third-party holding on to every little thing, including billions of other people's dollars, until the happening of the last little thing which signals that all those tiny little wishes, expectations and obligations are satisfied for everyone in the deal who wants it that way. 

STATISTICAL REPORT CALL ISSUED

As we reported earlier, Commissioner Geeslin has issued a call for the 2010 Texas title insurance agents statistical report. Agents should have received an official notice in the mail last week. The acknowledgment of receipt and listing of branch offices form included with the letter should be returned by fax, email, or regular postmarked no later than today. The completed report is due Monday, June 14, 2010. 

Once you receive your letter, we encourage you to read it carefully as there are several changes. TLTA will be hosting a special 2010 Agent Statistical Report webinar on Tuesday, May 25.

TLTA ANNOUNCES NEW CERTIFIED TITLE INSURANCE DESIGNEES

TLTA is proud to announce the Spring 2010 class of certified title insurance designees. The following eighteen individuals have met all of the requirements, passed the examination and are now part of an elite group of 77 certified title industry professional designees. Congratulations!

Tracey Becker, CTIA - Highland Lakes Title

Patti Bonner, CTIA - Stewart Title Guaranty Company

Melissa Boyer, CAEA - Texas Country Title

Laura Brookshire, CESA - Independence Title Company

Sheila Barefoot, CESA - Highland Lakes Title

Kristie Bramlett, CESA - Central Texas Title

Natasha Comstock, CESA - Highland Lakes Title

Gay Heavilin, CESA, CTIA - Independence Title Company

Debra Hernandez, CESA - University Title Company
 Elaine Kamradt, CTIA - Highland Lakes Title

Charles Marino, CTIA - University Title Company

Rachelle (Charlie) McCasland, CESA - Highland Lakes Title

Terry Moore, CESA - Central Texas Title

Gayle Myers, CTIA - Lampasas County Abstract Co.

Judy Reed, CESA - Central Texas Title

Shirley Sandifer, CESA - Attorney's Land & Title Company

Kristina Vargas, CTIA - Southwest Abstract Company, Inc.

Christy Wooten, CESA - Highland Lakes Title
 


The newly certified professionals will be recognized on June 23 during the Opening Session of TLTA's Annual Conference and Business Meeting.

There are currently three professional designations a title professional can earn. Each designation represents a measure of achievement and proficiency in the Texas title insurance industry and distinguishes these highly motivated individuals. They are:

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


ANNUAL AGENT AND UNDERWRITER SECTION MEETINGS SET FOR JUNE

The Agent and Underwriter Section meetings have been set for Wednesday, June 23 at 3 p.m. The meetings will be held at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe in conjunction with the TLTA Annual Conference and Business Meeting. All members are encouraged to attend and participate in these important annual section meetings. Members present at the meetings will elect their respect Section Executive Committee, as well as delegates to the 2010-2011 Section Nominating Committee.

The TLTA Nominating Committees are charged with nominating the leadership for the upcoming year. If you would like to nominate an individual to serve on either the Agent or Underwriter Section Nominating Committee, please submit their name in writing to Leslie Midgley, TLTA Executive Vice President, no later than Monday, May 24, 2010. 

TLTA'S ANNUAL CONFERENCE & BUSINESS MEETING HOTEL DEADLINE IS APPROACHING!

Make your Annual Conference and Business Meeting hotel reservation today before it's too late. A limited number of hotel rooms are available at the low group rate of $199 and they're going fast. If our room block sells out before the May 21st hotel deadline, rooms at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe will be on average $300+ per night. We urge you to make your reservation today by calling 775.832.1234 or you can reserve online now.

Also, we encourage you to check out the new, updated online brochure which details this year's exciting new format, top-notch speakers and programs, along with various educational sessions which provide up to 6.5 credit hours and optional entertainment events. Check out our Annual Conference and Business Meeting section of the website where you can make hotel reservations, register online and even research airfare deals. Contact Lynne Daves if you have any questions at 512.472.6593.

WELCOME TO OUR NEW MEMBERS

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

2010-2011 OFFICERS AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS NOMINATED

As we reported earlier, the TLTA Nominating Committee recently nominated individuals to serve on the 2010-2011 TLTA Board of Directors. These nominees will be presented for election to the membership during the TLTA Annual Conference and Business Meeting at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe, June 23-25, 2010. All members are encouraged to attend the General Session and Business Meeting on Thursday, June 24 at 10:45 a.m.


CALL FOR TLTA VOLUNTEERS - CHOOSE YOUR COMMITTEE AND SERVE YOUR INDUSTRY

We are now accepting volunteers to serve on TLTA's committees for 2010-2011. Being a TLTA committee member is a good way to share your expertise and be on the forefront of decisions that affect your business. Plus, it's a great way to meet and learn from fellow title industry colleagues. Even if you think you don't have the time, there are opportunities that only take a few hours a year and some don't even require you to leave the office. View the committee form for additional information and details. Submit your preferences by Friday, May 14, 2010. Committee assignments will be finalized after the Annual Conference and Business meeting and volunteers will be notified in early July.


LOAN TROUBLES AND THE TITLE INSURANCE TRANSACTION: A 3-PART WEBINAR SERIES

Choose One or Save $$ by Signing Up for ALL 3!

Short Sales: What They Are and How to Safely Close Them
Wednesday, May 12 l 10-11 a.m. CDT

Analyzing the "short sale" transaction - what it is, and how it works, this webinar will pay particular attention to problem areas such as foreclosure, additional liens, flips, terms of pay-off letters, "short sale" negotiators, occupancy of the property and fraud schemes.*
 
Loan workouts: What the Title Person Needs to Know
Thursday, May 13 l 10-11 a.m. CDT

This session will address the handling and options for a distressed loan from the perspective of the title insurer, including a review of loan workout options, modifications, reinstatements, and renewal/extension agreements.*
 
REO Properties: Who Owns Them and What They Expect from You
Wednesday, May 19 l 10-11 a.m. CDT

This webinar will cover the potential risks inherent to providing title insurance after the foreclosure sale, including title problems that survive the foreclosure, and special considerations in the closing and escrow handling.*
 

*$85 TLTA Members/$105 Non-Members (1 Hour Legal and Escrow Credit)

Cost is per connection and includes credit for up to 7 participants. Register for ALL 3 webinars and save $50! See online registration for additional information. 

LET OUR EXPERTS EXPLAIN AND EXPLORE THIS YEAR'S TDI STATISTICAL REPORT

The Texas Department of Insurance has posted the 2010 Title Agent Call for Experience and TLTA will be providing 2 Webinars designed to assist you in completing the TDI Statistical Report using the Interactive PDF Form. Choose one or both:

Steps for Completing the TDI Statistical Report
Tuesday, May 25 l 10-11:30 a.m. CDT

New to filling out the Statistical Report? Our speakers will walk you through the steps to complete the report and discuss the new format for filing. Register Online Now*
 
Q & A Session on TDI's Report Format and More
Tuesday, May 25 l 1:30-3 p.m.

Still have questions on the Statistical Report? Join our speakers as they take your questions on completing the Statistical Report and using the Interactive PDF form. Session begins where Part 1 left off. Register Online Now*
 

*$99 TLTA Members per session. Register for both and save $40.

(Earn Up to 3 Hours of Escrow Credit)

TLTA'S YOUNG TITLE PROFESSIONALS' NETWORK ANNOUNCES JUNE EVENT

TLTA's Young Title Professionals Network Kickoff Happy Hour was a success! Young title professionals from all over Houston and Austin came out to mix and mingle. Our next event, a TLTA Young Professional Learn @ Lunch featuring Chris Phillips, Title Resources Guaranty President, is schedule for Wednesday, June 9 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn in Addison. Special thanks to our sponsor Barret Daffin Frappier Turner & Engle, LLP. 

Tickets are $10 and all proceeds benefit the TLTAPAC. 

BECOME A TLTA INDIVIDUAL MEMBER AND GET FOUR MONTHS FREE

WIN A TRIP TO TLTA'S ANNUAL CONFERENCE AND BUSINESS MEETING

Sign up now to become a TLTA Individual Member and not only will you get 4 months free, you can also take advantage of all these great benefits. Join the ranks. It matters!

Listing in TLTA Directory
Your name 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 e-mail correspondence, identifying you as a TLTA member and a committed title professional. 

Automatic Entry into Conference Jackpot Drawing!
You will be automatically eligible to win one complimentary Full Conference Registration, three night's accommodations at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe (during the 2010 TLTA Annual Conference and Business Meeting) and roundtrip airfare for one to Reno, Nevada. Jackpot Drawing sponsored by Barrett Daffin Frappier Turner & Engel, L.L.P.

Already an Individual Member? 

You'll receive a renewal statement in the mail when your yearly membership expires, renew and you won't be billed again until October 2011! You're also automatically entered into the Conference Jackpot Drawing scheduled for Monday, May 17!

IN MEMORIAM - GLENDA MILES, 1943-2010

TLTA mourns the loss of Glenda Miles who passed away on April 14, 2010. Glenda spent over 30 years of her title industry career at Sierra Title, serving as President Emeritus until her passing. In 1999, TLTA honored Glenda for her service to the Texas title industry with the prestigious Professional Excellence Award which recognizes an individual's outstanding achievements. 

REAL ESTATE DISPOSITION, LLC ACQUIRES COMMERCE TITLE BRANCHES

In April, Real Estate Disposition, LLC (REDC) announced it had closed on its acquisition of the Commerce Title brand, retail platform and associated retail branches in Texas. In addition to the title agency branches acquired from Pulte Homes, Inc., Commerce Title said it intends to expand its title agency operations into other states. 

TLTA STAFF DEMONSTRATES THE BENEFIT OF STAFF COMMUNITY SERVICE

The TLTA staff was recently featured in the Texas Society of Association Executives magazine article The Team that Gives Together... As many of you well know, service is a cornerstone of TLTA's mission and like many of you the TLTA staff has an overwhelming sense of duty to give back and support the efforts of our community. Over the years, we have volunteered with organizations such as Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity and the Capital Area Food Bank. Our association has reached out and created groundbreaking partnerships with the Texas Historical Commission and voter registrars across the state. We're incredibly proud of our volunteer efforts.

Share Your Stories and Photos
We know many of you are engaged in volunteer and community outreach efforts and we want to know about it.