government affairs blog

OLD Gov't Affairs Blog
We stopped using this blog after the 2013 Florida Legislative Session and created a new Government Affairs Forum, which will allow us to better control distribution of information.  This one will be maintained as an archive. 

More formal bulletins, summaries of legislation, position papers and the like appear on the Government Affairs page

  • 12/27/2011 8:40 PM | Anonymous

    2 years ago, the FHA waived the requirement that all property flips be seasoned more than 90 days in order to be eligible for FHA financing.   The waiver was scheduled to expire December 31, 2011, but has been extended until the end of 2012.  

    Note that the Waiver continues to be limited to sales meeting the following conditions:

    • All transactions must be arms-length, with no identity of interest between the buyer and seller or other parties participating in the sales transaction.

    • In cases in which the sales price of the property is 20 percent or more above the seller’s acquisition cost, the Waiver will only apply if the lender meets specific conditions and documents the justification for the increase in value.

    • The Waiver is limited to forward mortgages, and does not apply to the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) for purchase program.
    For more information, see the FLTA bulletin 
  • 12/26/2011 1:54 PM | Anonymous
    Three months after suspending the issuance of new policies due to financial difficulties, Southern Title Insurance Corp. was placed into receivership Dec. 20 by the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond.     A moratorium has been placed on the payment of claims until the receiver completes an evaluation of Southern Title’s financial condition.

    Please note this Southern Title is a Richmond based insurer and in no way associated with the Southern Title family of companies (title agencies) headquartered in Daytona.

  • 12/26/2011 1:49 PM | Anonymous
    We have seen few cases in which the organizers of "charitable" down payment assistance schemes have been prosecuted -- partially because the cases are rarely appealed and reported.

    Here's a case that was appealed.  Even though the case turns on statute of limitations issues, the court describes the underlying violation in some detail. 

  • 12/16/2011 5:49 PM | Anonymous

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its second round of alternative prototypes of a settlement disclosure form to be used during closing to replace the current HUD-1 and Truth in Lending disclosure.

    The Bureau is seeking comments through Dec. 21. It is important ALTA members inform the Bureau how these draft forms of a new HUD-1 will affect closings and your business. Go to the CFPB’s Know Before You Owe webpage to leave comments. Make sure to switch to the “Industry Tool.”

    Last month, the CFPB tested two prototypes for a disclosure of final loan terms and closing costs. They were both similar. This time around, the CFPB created a different format for this information. In the latest prototypes, the CFPB are testing a design that displays final closing costs in a format similar to the prototype it has tested for the application disclosures. In this round, the CFPB released two, five-page drafts called Mimosa and Sassafras.

    Please take a few moments to offer your insights on these latest drafts.

  • 12/16/2011 5:45 PM | Anonymous

    The U.S. House Tuesday night (Dec. 13) voted to reform and extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years as part of a bill that also would extend the expiring tax cuts, including cuts to the payroll tax.

    House Republicans tucked a long-term NFIP extension, which had already been passed in July, into the “Middle Class Tax Relief & Job Creation Act of 2011,” which passed by a 234-193 vote mostly along party lines.

    The NFIP program expires Dec. 16 without an extension.

    Unfortunately, this is the same controversial bill that is on the nightly news, and the Flood Insurance extension is only a small part of the bill, which also includes House Republicans’ demands for budget cuts in exchange for their support on extending expiring tax cuts. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said the bill is “dead on arrival.” President Obama also has indicated he would veto the measure.

    ALTA is actively working to preserve the Flood Insurance extension here and in other bills. 

  • 12/04/2011 6:00 PM | Anonymous

    Our work on filing an Amicus Brief in City of Palm Bay v. Wells Fargo (regarding the priority of code enforcement liens) was acknowledged before the RPPTL executive council at their Marco Island meeting this weekend.   I’d like to again repeat my thanks to Homer Duvall of Fidelity National Title who served as co-counsel on this, and to our members Marty Awerbach and Rod Neumann for their technical guidance.  Here’s the background on FLTA’s involvement.

    In light of some of the issues raised in our brief regarding the ambiguity between s. 695.01 and s. 695.11, the RPPTL Problem Studies Committee (whose Vice-Chair is our past President, Pat Hancock) have appointed a subcommittee to evaluate whether some statutory clarification is appropriate or desirable.

  • 12/04/2011 5:55 PM | Anonymous

    Yesterday, the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar (RPPTL) joined FLTA in endorsing Rep. Kathleen Passidomo’s foreclosure bill.  Many of you will recall that at our urging, her bill includes several provisions that are very important to the title industry and the sanctity of land title in Florida.  See the bulletin here.   We also were quoted extensively in the Naples Daily News regarding this bill.    More here.

    Given the current focus of our Legislature on reapportionment and budget matters, the conventional wisdom is that little else will be addressed during this session.   Given the importance of resolving the current foreclosure crisis, we are hopeful that the legislature will address this important bill. 
  • 11/22/2011 1:33 PM | Anonymous

    From ALTA

    While ALTA continues to urge Congress to pass a bill that would provide long-term certainty to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to ensure access to affordable flood insurance and end disruptions in closings when lapses occur, it looks as if another temporary extension will be approved.

    Set to expire Nov. 18, the House and Senate are expected to pass another continuing resolution that will keep both the federal government and the NFIP running until Dec. 16.

    On May 13, 2011, the House Financial Services Committee unanimously approved H.R. 1309, the Flood Insurance Reform Act (Biggert, R-IL; Waters, D-CA). The bill would extend the NFIP for five years. It also would reform the NFIP to strengthen participation and put the program back on the path to fiscal solvency, including by a) adding coverage options for business interruption and living expenses and indexing the limits; and b) improving the scientific integrity of floodplain mapping and streamlining the appeals processes.

    Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate Banking Committee approved a five-year extension of the program. The bill awaits Senate floor action.

  • 11/22/2011 12:05 PM | Anonymous
    Our Friends at ALTA have been successful in persuading Freddie Mac to correct some of the problems with its short sale requirements, including an overreaching affidavit demand that insisted closing agents make factual representations about which they usually had no knowledge and to indemnify the lender and Freddie if they or anyone else had misrepresented something. 

  • 11/12/2011 4:48 PM | Anonymous
    The District of Columbia recently adopted a new law that prevents consumers from receiving any rebates, discounts or other inducements in connection with title insurance.

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