The Texas Land Title Association (TLTA) encourages “Day at the Capital” during the year the legislature is in session. This past February over 200 title professional gathered in Austin to lobby for and against issues that impact our industry. DJ Horn, Jamie Barker, Sean Everest, and I attended that effort and visited with as many state representatives and senators as we could. It was an incredible civics lesson and opportunity to see how the legislative process works. (See details in our February 16, 2017, “Out & About” Blog.) First National Title Insurance Company (FNTI) is also a member of the American Land Title Association (ALTA), which has a similar event at our nation’s capital. In Texas, our legislature meets on odd numbered years; at the federal level, we have an opportunity to meet with our legislators every year.
Earlier this week, I joined a contingent of TLTA board members, underwriters, and independent agents attending the ALTA Lobby Day in Washington, D.C. Our goal was to meet with as many of our Texas senators and congressmen as possible in two very busy days. Our agenda was to encourage policies favorable to both the real estate and title industries. We covered tax policy, GSE, and the CFPB. The message we delivered was simple, but extremely important:
- Tax policy should promote investment in real estate.
- Tax reform should make it easier to comply with our tax code and incentivize growth and investment.
- 1031 like-kind exchanges should continue to be allowed.
- Tax reform should retain the mortgage interest deduction.
- GSE (Government Sponsored Enterprise) – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should continue to require title insurance to securitize loans.
- CFPB leadership needs to be a commission of five members instead of one individual.
- CFPB needs to recognize the error in the simultaneous issue disclosure and allow our industry to reflect the proper charges.
- Require CFPB to recognize a title industry advisory board for input to rule making.
- Require CFPB to fall under a federal agency that requires appropriations and oversight.
On Monday and Tuesday, May 2-3, we met the following leaders and/or staff:
- Congressman Roger Williams
- Congressman Pete Olson
- Congressman Mac Veasey
- Congressman Kenny Marchant
- Chief of Staff to Chairman Jeb Hensarling
- Staff of Congressman Kevin Brady
- Staff of Senator Ted Cruz
- Staff of Senator John Cornyn
- Staff of Congressman Michael Conaway
- Staff of Congressman Bill Flores
- Staff of Congressman John Ratcliffe
- Staff of Congressman Vincente Gonzalez
- Staff of Congressman Will Hurd
Please consider joining us in May 2018 to attend the ALTA Advocacy Day at our nation’s capital. It will be a valuable and memorable experience.