November has been another busy month for all of us at TLTA. There have been a number of meetings and seminars on the schedule as well as a special P-53 hearing and preparation for the December Rule Hearing. The following is a brief report on our progress on these and other issues of concern to you.
This fall is proving to be very busy for TLTA with a number of important industry issues requiring our time and attention. I want to take this opportunity to give you an update on the items we are working on at this time.
As fall approaches I always look forward to following my favorite football team again, and this year is no exception. I guess you could say I qualify as the ultimate fan, with my game day wardrobe and vehicle outfitted to let everyone know my support is true blue (or is that red and black?) TLTA staff and leadership are preparing for a very busy fall as well, with two Regional Seminars, a new rules seminar, an October Board meeting, and a number of committee and task force meetings already on the schedule in the next few months.
I can’t believe it’s time for school to start again. Didn’t the school year just end? If there’s one saying I truly believe more and more as I grow older it is “time stops for no one.” What’s true for students is just as true for TLTA as our Board, committees and staff busily prepare for the 2004-2005 program year.
I hope all of you are enjoying the lazy days of summer. School is out, vacations are planned, and schedules are just a little less hectic. Most of my time this summer will be spent coaching (or thinking about) Little League All-Star Baseball and TLTA. Probably in that order, if my players have anything to do with it.
I thank you for giving me the opportunity to represent TLTA during the coming year. I hopeto build on the foundation of sound fiscal policies and inclusiveness of all parties within our industry that has been so ably put in place by Dave Ginger, Jack Rattikin III and Jim Johnson these past few years.
May 2004 (Special Message - Rate Hearing)
As you know, Insurance Commissioner Montemayor recently announced his decision to reduce title insurance rates by 6.5 percent effective July 1, 2004. This is very disappointing news for TLTA and all of us in the title industry, but it did not come unexpectedly. We all know that our business has excelled in recent years due to low interest rates and a very strong real estate market, and in a regulated rate state like Texas, a rate decrease was not out of the question. I know you are disappointed by the size of the decrease, and I am too. In spite of this decision, I believe it can inspire renewed determination and commitment in each of us to do the work we have been charged to do and do it even better.
We're enjoying a beautiful spring in Texas this year, and the wildflowers along the side of the road give me a positive jolt on the commute to work each morning. I'm definitely on the run these days, and I know you are, too. In the midst of all of it, we've had some great developments for TLTA and for the title industry, particularly HUD's recent withdrawal of the RESPA rule.
I'm sure some of you remember the Eagle's hit, "Life in the Fast Lane." (That is, if you're of the Baby Boomer generation.) That song would make a great theme for many of us in the title industry right now. The sheer volume of work that we must accomplish each day gives new meaning to the term "prioritizing." Your TLTA leadership and staff have also been keeping a pretty fast pace over the past month. Here is an overview of the items we've been working on recently.
As I write my February message our beautiful Texas weather has suddenly turned wintry and cold. As they say, if you don't like the weather, just wait a day or two. That adage can also describe the pace at TLTA these days. It seems just when we have a handle on one issue, another seems to appear on the horizon. Fortunately, we have a great group of volunteers and staff on board who can truly "multi-task."
We have rushed headfirst into the new year, with a number of important issues that will require our time and attention in the coming months.
First and foremost on the agenda is the RESPA issue. Due to HUD's recent decision to send a final revised RESPA rule to the OMB (Office of Management and Budget), we are intensifying our efforts to oppose the rule. In a united effort with other industry trade groups, we are going to Washington D.C. with representatives from the Texas Association of Realtors, Independent Bankers Association of Texas and Texas Mortgage Brokers Association to meet with HUD and the White House to voice our concerns.