April 2013

2013 TLTA Land Title School of Texas a Great Success

The 2013 Land Title School of Texas took place in Austin last month to a crowd of more than 175 enthusiastic students. This year's new three-day immersion style format took students through the process of a typical residential closing, focusing on everything from receipting the contract to producing the final title policies. Students also participated in interactive quizzes throughout the program to reinforce learning and retention. TLTA would like to thank the speakers, School Committee and Task Force who made this year's program a success. Take a moment to view the photos from this year's program — and make sure to join us for the next Land Title School of Texas!

CFPB Defines Qualified Mortgage, Issues Ability-to-Repay Rule

American Land Title Association
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on Jan. 10 adopted new mortgage rules requiring lenders to ensure prospective buyers have the ability to repay their mortgage. The rule, which goes into effect Jan. 10, 2014, also protects borrowers from risky lending practices such as "no doc" and "interest only" features. "When consumers sit down at the closing table, they shouldn’t be set up to fail with mortgages they can’t afford," said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. "Our Ability-to-Repay rule protects borrowers from the kinds of risky lending practices that resulted in so many families losing their homes. This common-sense rule ensures responsible borrowers get responsible loans." Read More » 

Meet the TLTA Staff: Michael De La Rosa and Brandy Garner

Each month, we're featuring two members of the TLTA staff so you can get to know more about each member of the team and learn about what they do for the association.

Michael De La Rosa joined TLTA in 2011 and serves as the Director of Operations and Technology, where he oversees all of TLTA's operations and infrastructure management. This includes managing relationships with outside vendors doing business with the association. Michael also manages all of TLTA's systems involving technology — from the internal phone system and local computer network to education technology and the Web. Previously, Michael served as director of the State Bar of Texas MCLE program. He received his JD and MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. A native of Van Zandt County in East Texas, he and his wife Laura have two college-aged sons, Christopher and Andrew.  
As TLTA's Member Service and Database Manager, Brandy Garner is in charge of all of TLTA's membership records as well as the TLTA Directory listings. She also maintains our continuing education records, handles the application and renewal process for the certification program and manages our online store. If you have any questions in any of these areas, Brandy is available to help. Before joining TLTA in 2012, Brandy served as a training specialist for the Texas Association of School Business Officials. She was born and raised in Buda (near Austin), and loves spending time with her husband, Hector, and their sons Julian, 8, and Mason, 3.  


Texas Historical Commission Charges Ahead With a New Vision

 Austin American-Statesman | March 17, 2013
Two years ago, the Texas Historical Commission (THC) was looking a bit like the Alamo — besieged by a Legislature looking to save money and under fire from critics, including Gov. Rick Perry, who questioned whether it should continue to exist as the state’s primary agency for all things historic. Now, like Sam Houston after the Battle of San Jacinto, the commission is forging ahead with new vibrancy and vision, with the support of many of its former detractors, including Perry. Read More »

TLTA Courthouse Stewardship Program Helps Preserve Courthouses
TLTA continues to partner with the THC to support the Texas Courthouse Stewardship Initiative, a training and technical program designed to promote the ongoing, regular maintenance of Texas' historic county courthouses. The land title industry has a long and symbolic relationship with the county courthouses, and TLTA is proud of this unique partnership, the only one of its kind in the country. 

Welcome to Our New TLTA Members!

We extend a warm welcome to our newest members to TLTA. 

Catch Four Great Speakers at TLTA's South Texas Seminar

...and spend some time at the beach, too!
We've put together an informative and interactive educational program featuring experienced faculty that you won't want to miss. Join us at TLTA's South Texas Seminar in South Padre on Saturday, April 13, and get the guidance and practical information you need to be more efficient and effective in your busy work day... and have some fun on the beach, too! 

Texas Drought Sparks Water Woes and Innovation

CNBC | March 22, 2013
They got a little rain in Southeast Texas this week, but hardly enough to provide relief for rice farmers who are grappling with a third year of drought conditions and water constraints. "I am very concerned about the long-term viability of our rice industry," rice farmer Ron Gertson said. According to Gertson, the industry contributes more than $1 billion annually to the state economy, and supports more than 3,000 jobs in east Texas. But, they are being left high and dry by water officials. Read More »


NOW OPEN:TLTA Annual Conference & Business Meeting

June 19-21 at the Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin — Register Today!
You don't want to miss the 2013 Annual Conference & Business Meeting! Take a moment to check out this year's schedule, then get registered and make your hotel reservation today. Our conference is the one place you can get the latest information and tools you need to help your company be successful in today's ever-changing business environment. You'll hear top experts discuss such topics as the new lender requirements, the latest best practices, proposed federal regulatory changes and the economic forecast, and learn how your company can thrive in the midst of all these new market trends and regulatory requirements. Plus, enjoy some great networking opportunities with industry friends and colleagues, all in a relaxing resort setting. Learn More »

Tim Redding Joins FNTI as VP & Underwriting Counsel

Company Press Release
First National Title Insurance Company (FNTI) welcomes the addition of Timothy J. Redding to its staff as vice president & underwriting counsel. Continuing a 35 year career in the title industry in which he served in a variety of executive underwriting positions, Redding is excited to add another chapter to his storied resume. Redding has been actively involved in TLTA, serving on a number of committees as a member and as chairman. He served as president of TLTA in 1997-1998 and was named Title Person of the Year in 1993. Redding is a member of the State Bar of Texas.

Westcor Announces New Texas Agency Representative

Company Press Release
Westcor Land Title Insurance Company (Westcor), a national title insurance underwriter, announces the addition of Suzanne Tinsley as a Texas Agency Representative. Suzanne is an experienced title professional, having begun her career in 2004 as a Sales and Marketing Representative for a large Fort Worth title agent. Read full company press release »

In Memorium

TLTA is sad to report the recent loss of these title industry veterans:

Randy Stegall was born Dec. 12, 1953, and passed away Feb. 27, 2013. For more than a decade, Randy served as president of four of the largest title company operations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including Alamo Title, LandAmerica American Title, Lawyers Title Co. and Commonwealth Land Title Co. He also served as general counsel for Alamo Title Co. Randy and his wife, Priscilla, own three offices of Lawyers Title serving Southlake, Flower Mound and Fort Worth, as well as The Stegall Firm, a law office in Southlake. Read Full Obituary »

Dede Haustein, a vice president at Independence Title Company, passed away March 2. Read Full Obituary »

Don't Miss These Hot Topic Webinars!

Construction Transactions Series
Part 1: Laying the Foundation
On-Demand Recording Now Available!

Part 2: Bricks & Mortar — Building Projects
Tuesday, April 9 | 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Presenter: Rick Melamed, Herberg Huvard Jacobs Wadler LLP

Part 3: Tile & Grout
Tuesday, April 16 | 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Presenter: John DeLoach, Sierra Title Company 

Rate Rules & Procedural Rules
Wednesday, April 10 | 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Presenter: Lisa M. Beville, CPA, CTIA, Fidelity National Title Group

Texas Water Rights: The Basics & New Developments
Wednesday, April 17 | 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Presenter: Robin Melvin, Graves, Dougherty, Hearon & Moody, PC

TLTA Job Bank Featured Postings

Each month, TLTA features a sample of job listings posted in our online Job Bank — the only employment resource in Texas catering specifically to qualified title industry professionals. If you're looking for a job, you can post your resume online for free and search for open positions in the industry. If you're looking to hire, TLTA's posting packages start at up to 70% less than other leading employment websites! Check out TLTA's Job Bank today.

Abstractor/Title Examiner
A Texas title insurance company seeks an abstractor/examiner to join their team.
See full job posting »

Escrow Officer
Immediate employment opportunity for qualified escrow officer.
See full job posting » 

Mortgage Operations Senior Closer
This job is responsible for developing and maintaining knowledge of the fundamentals of lending. The incumbent has developed proficiency in closing mortgage loans.
See full job posting »