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

  • 08/18/2011 11:39 AM | Anonymous
    A controversial case challenging the ability of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems to foreclose on a California man was filed with the Supreme Court Monday, making it the first major MERS case to reach the nation's highest court.

  • 08/10/2011 12:46 PM | Anonymous
    FLTA Member Barbara Burke's  Real Estate Law Series Blog has posted an interesting article about over-paying your Doc Stamp taxes as a means of artificially manipulating subsequent appraisals.   

    Join the discussion here
  • 08/03/2011 8:40 AM | Anonymous

    After two months, four different versions and more than 18,000 comments, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its third round of draft mortgage disclosure form.

    Once again, the Bureau is soliciting feedback on these forms, which features disclosure for a loan with a “balloon payment,” or a single large payment that occurs at the end of a loan. 

  • 08/03/2011 8:34 AM | Anonymous
    The conservative Pacific Legal Foundation of Sacramento has created the Wade Hopping Institute for Private Property Rights in Stuart to beef up its presence in Florida.

    The institute is named for longtime Tallahassee industry lobbyist Wade Hopping, who died two years ago from complications from a stroke and esophageal cancer. Hopping, founder of Hopping Green & Sams in Tallahassee and a former Florida Supreme Court justice, served on the board and was a past president of the Pacific Legal Foundation.

    One of the goals of the Hopping Institute goals was the establishing of a network of pro bono, experienced Florida land use attorneys that would serve as counsel to property owners requiring legal assistance to defend against property rights abuses at the trial or administrative level. No other existing Florida pro bono program targets assisting ordinary citizens in the defense of their property and economic rights.

    More information here

  • 07/30/2011 10:33 PM | Anonymous

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced July 15 it will refrain from enforcing most provisions of its Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule (MARS) against real estate professionals who assist consumers in obtaining short sales from their lenders or servicers.

    More from ALTA

  • 07/29/2011 12:48 PM | Anonymous
    CFO Jeff Atwater's July 2011 edition of The Pulse reminds title insurance agents that the closing services fee listed on the settlement statement form is to include all the fees and
    charges made by the agency to close and complete the transaction. 

    Consumers should not be charged additional fees in addition to the amount listed as the closing or settlement services fee on the HUD-1 or other settlement statement form.

    Examples of fees that should not be listed as separate line charges on the form include, but are not limited to:
    • Postage and handling
    • Notary services
    • Copies
    • Digital documents
    • Document preparation fees
    • Document storage or warehousing fees
    • Electronic conversion of documents to CD or DVD format
    The full text of The Pulse can be found here
  • 07/29/2011 12:34 PM | Anonymous
    CFO Jeff Atwater, in the July 2011 edition of The Pulse reminds us that Reissue Rates may ONLY be given where the agent has, and retains in his file, proof of the prior policy. 

    Please keep in mind that the three year limit referenced in the article is only applicable to one category of Reissue Rates.   The three year limit does not apply to policies on real property which is unimproved except for roads, bridges, drainage facilities, and utilities if the current owner’s title has been insured prior to the application for a new policy; or Mortgage policies issued on refinancing of property insured by an original owner’s policy which insured the title of the current mortgagor.  

    The complete article can be found at The Pulse July 2011

    FLTA has an ongoing working group with some of the smartest people in Florida title insurance looking at ways to simplify and clarify Florida's sometimes difficult to understand rate categories.  (and they really hate it when I describe them that way!)

    For more information about Reissue and other rate categories in Florida, please review F.A.C. 69O-186 or consult your underwriter.

  • 07/29/2011 11:33 AM | Anonymous
    Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater announced the appointment of attorney and insurance watchdog Robin Westcott to serve as Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate.  CFO Atwater signaled that Westcott’s vast insurance knowledge as well as her career-long experience safeguarding Florida’s consumers will be a tremendous asset to the insurance-buying public.
    Over the last several years, Westcott has repeatedly called on the insurance industry to hand over data on various insurance products important to consumers, including auto insurance and sinkhole coverage, and demanded accountability from insurance companies charging excessive fees for servicing policyholders through affiliated companies. 

  • 07/28/2011 10:52 AM | Anonymous
    This week we saw major changes in the executive leadership at ALTA.   Kurt Pfotenhauer will be leaving ALTA to serve as Executive Vice President and Vice Chairman for First American Title Insurance Company.  (announcement) While we will miss him at ALTA, he will continue to be an active part of the Title Family.

    Michelle Korsmo, ALTA's Chief Operating Officer under Kurt will step up as the new CEO.  (announcement) So ALTA is in good hands and we expect to see a continuation of the growth and success started by Kurt.

    Congratulations to Both of You!

  • 07/28/2011 10:50 AM | Anonymous

    Florida’s existing-condo sales rose 8% in June with 7,922 units sold statewide compared to 7,330 sold in June 2010, according to Florida Realtors.

    The statewide existing-condo median sales price last month was $94,100, up 2% from $92,300 in June 2010.

    More from Housing Wire

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