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.
1031 Like-Kind Exchanges – Preserving
Limiting access to 1031-Like-Kind Exchanges is being considered in tax reform legislation. Due to the many benefits afforded, the current law tax treatment for Section 1031 real estate like-kind exchanges must be preserved.
Amicus Curiae Briefs
TLTA periodically files amicus curiae briefs in cases pertinent to the title insurance industry.
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.
Digital closings (eClosings) continue to be a rising trend in the marketplace. TLTA has introduced resources to help you navigate this new arena.
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.
Payoff Statement – Proposed Changes for Uniformity
The Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending, in coordination with the Texas Department of Banking and Office of the Consumer Credit Commissioner, published proposed revisions to the payoff statements used in Texas mortgage transactions. TLTA has sought the inclusion of additional information.
Public Improvement District Disclosure
Effective Sept. 1, 2021, every seller of a property that is subject to or part of a Public Improvement District (“PID”) is required to disclose to a buyer the existence of and certain details about the particular PID prior to execution of a binding contract, otherwise the buyer has the right to terminate the contract.
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.
The Texas Department of Insurance held a hearing Dec. 19, 2019 to review the proposal to amend the Texas Title Insurance Statistical Plan via the addition of new stat codes for changes made to rules R-5 and R-8 when the new rate rule changes were adopted in 2019.
TREC New Anti-Rebating and Marketing Rules
The Texas Real Estate Commission recently amended §535.148 (and made conforming changes to §535.220) to strengthen settlement service provider independence and provide clarity about consumer protection issues when a license holder pays funds to or receives funds from another real estate settlement service provider.
TREC Form Changes - Option Fee
TLTA proposed changes to the Texas Real Estate Commission's (TREC) Broker Lawyer Committee regarding the option language and related procedures included in TREC contract forms. TREC has adopted changes to their residential contract forms with respect to the delivery of option fees. The updated forms become mandatory on April 1, 2021 but may be used on a voluntary basis after Feb. 19, 2021.
TRID Five-Year Review
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is seeking public comment on a planned assessment of the Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth In Lending Act (Regulation Z)—or TRID rule.