Learn more about the issues that are currently impacting the Texas land title industry. Select an issue below to view detailed news articles, reference materials and educational opportunities.
Basic Manual Proposed Changes
In 2019, Insurance Commissioner Kent Sullivan issued a request for help identifying specific agency rules that need to be updated or changed. TLTA submitted a package of recommendations in response to the request.
Basic Manual Reorganization
The members of TLTA's Basic Manual Task Force
, chaired by Denise Holmes, started working more than five years ago on an effort to ensure the Basic Manual is easy to use and satisfies the needs of consumers, title professionals and the Texas Department of Insurance.
Wire fraud is one of the fastest growing cyber crimes in the country. Real estate transactions are a prime target with sophisticated scams targeting individuals performing wire transfer payments during the closing process.
Data and Consumer Privacy
Data and consumer privacy are being regulated inconsistently by the states and there is no uniform federal law addressing the issue. Texas has recently passed legislation requiring businesses to provide notice if they experience a breach and has established a special committee to study the issue.
FinCEN Geographic Targeting Order
In an effort to identify money-laundering schemes, the U.S. Treasury Department Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued a Geographic Targeting Order (GTO) requiring all title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind companies used in all-cash purchases of real estate. In Texas, these reporting requirements are limited to transactions occurring in Bexar, Tarrant or Dallas counties.
FinCEN Proposed Regulations/Requirements
FinCEN is issuing a series of rulemakings to implement the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA).
GSE Reform: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac
Congress and the Administration are working to reform the institutions that help fund mortgages in the United States.
Home Equity Lending
Home equity lending regulations were adopted effective Jan. 8, 2004 to clarify and incorporate into regulations the Texas Constitution’s limitations on where home equity loans may be closed. The regulations were amended effective Nov. 26, 2020 to provide further guidance on what constitutes the “permitted” location. The Constitutional requirements can be found in Section 50(N) of the Texas Constitution.
Money Laundering Regulations
Remote Ink Notarization
Remote Online Notarization
Remote Online Notarization (RON) statutes, which were originally passed in 2017, were updated in 2019 to provide a safe, clear and consistent approach to paper filing Remote Online Notary-related and electronically signed documents to provide consumers across Texas access to this new technology.
Right to List Agreements
Since 2018 real estate brokerage firms have been offering homeowners as little as $300 in exchange for signing decades-long listing agreements. These right to list agreements contractually obligate a seller, in exchange for an upfront cash payment, to sign over the right to list their home, placing unreasonable restraints on a seller's future ability to sell or refinance property due to unwarranted transactional costs -- a system contrary to our industry's continued support for certainty of landownership.