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

  • 07/07/2011 3:11 PM | Anonymous
    Something we don't often think about:

    When you are the nation's largest owner of foreclosed homes, even little things can get expensive fast. Such is the case for mortgage giant Fannie Mae, which as of March 31 had a mind-boggling 153,000 foreclosed homes on its books.

  • 07/06/2011 1:13 PM | Anonymous
    The Treasury Department is considering more changes to the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program in order to boost short sales and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure, according to officials administering the initiative.

  • 07/06/2011 1:10 PM | Anonymous

    From ALTA

    The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has lapsed ten times since Sept. 30, 2008. Each lapse has delayed closings and caused considerable uncertainty for buyers, sellers and lenders. These disruptions cost title and escrow businesses’, lenders’, and consumers’ time, money and unnecessary worry.

    Congress will consider a long term extension of NFIP on the House floor this Thursday, July 7th. Lend your voice and help avoid the costly delays of a repeat lapse of NFIP.

    Contact your Members of Congress today to let them know that you strongly support a long-term, sustainable extension of NFIP. 


    Thank you for taking action!

  • 07/06/2011 10:43 AM | Anonymous
    At today's Agents Section Call, Norwood Gay suggested we evaluate making F.S. 626.572 applicable to title insurance.  There are pros and cons to this approach and it merits further discussion.

    The current statute reads as follows:

    626.572 Rebating; when allowed.undefined
    (1) No insurance agency agent shall rebate any portion of a commission except as follows:
    (a) The rebate shall be available to all insureds in the same actuarial class.
    (b) The rebate shall be in accordance with a rebating schedule filed by the agent with the insurer issuing the policy to which the rebate applies.
    (c) The rebating schedule shall be uniformly applied in that all insureds who purchase the same policy through the agent for the same amount of insurance receive the same percentage rebate.
    (d) Rebates shall not be given to an insured with respect to a policy purchased from an insurer that prohibits its agents from rebating commissions.
    (e) The rebate schedule is prominently displayed in public view in the agent’s place of doing business and a copy is available to insureds on request at no charge.
    (f) The age, sex, place of residence, race, nationality, ethnic origin, marital status, or occupation of the insured or location of the risk is not utilized in determining the percentage of the rebate or whether a rebate is available.
    (2) The insurance agency agent shall maintain a copy of all rebate schedules for the most recent 5 years and their effective dates.
    (3) No rebate shall be withheld or limited in amount based on factors which are unfairly discriminatory.
    (4) No rebate shall be given which is not reflected on the rebate schedule.
    (5) No rebate shall be refused or granted based upon the purchase or failure of the insured or applicant to purchase collateral business.
  • 07/05/2011 9:38 PM | Anonymous
    The Judiciary Committee of the Florida Senate has an interim project to present issues and options related to expediting the foreclosure process, including the implementation of nonjudicial foreclosure or other options, should the Legislature desire to establish a new process in this state. Among other elements, the project will review the existing judicial process and efforts being made to facilitate that process; analyze the extent to which states can implement nonjudicial foreclosure in the residential context, in light of federal law changes; review the experiences of other jurisdictions that use nonjudicial foreclosure; consider due process, fiscal, and other issues related to use of nonjudicial foreclosure; and address, in particular, the application of nonjudicial foreclosure in the commercial property context.

    So please expect a busy legislative session again trying to get a better handle on the Florida Foreclosure Crisis.
  • 07/05/2011 9:17 PM | Anonymous

    Fannie Mae will retroactively charge mortgage servicers for failing to process severely aged loans.

    The government-sponsored enterprise sent an alert to servicers in the first quarter of 2011, saying it would issue fees going forward. But last week, under guidance from its regulator the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Fannie alerted servicers it would levy fines for actions taken – or in this case not taken – in 2010.

    more from Housing Wire

  • 07/05/2011 9:08 PM | Anonymous
    HUD has issued minimum standards that states must meet to comply with the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (SAFE Act) in licensing mortgage loan originators (Final Rule).

  • 07/05/2011 9:06 PM | Anonymous
    USAA's real estate subsidiary, USAA Real Estate Co., has entered into an agreement to purchase United Lender Services, a Pittsburgh-based title insurance agency.

  • 07/05/2011 9:02 PM | Anonymous
    In June, the newly launched $1 billion Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program, or EHLP, became available to homeowners who are among the most difficult to help: those who fell behind on their payments because of job loss or unexpected medical bills. For many of them, it might be the last chance to save their homes.

  • 07/05/2011 8:57 PM | Anonymous

    The Form 9 series of endorsements provide some valuable coverages for lenders and owners, over and above what is covered by the basic title policy.  And it takes additional work and examination in order to underwrite and issue.  That's why they carry a 10% additional premium in Florida. 

    So we wanted to reiterate what we have all been taught over the years.   That when you are taking exceptions to the coverages provided in any of the form 9 series of endorsements -- the exception must be express, not simply a general reference to "covenants recorded in O.R. Book ...."  (after all, if that general exception worked, the Form 9 wouldn't provide any meaningful coverage).

    Although less detailed exceptions might be upheld by the courts, the better practice -- where the Declaration of Condominium or restrictive covenants include a payment requirement or a right of first refusal or any of the other matters covered by the version of form 9 you plan to issue -- is to first take the general exception for the Declaration, then spell out that it includes the specific item (ideally with a page number reference for the offending matter), and then to expressly state that coverage under any form 9 endorsements is not available for this matter.

    Each underwriter has their own standards and suggested language for taking exceptions to form 9 coverage.  

    Please take a few minutes to refresh yourself as to the coverages being provided under Form 9, and check with your underwriter as to their preferred language for exceptions and the search and examination standards you are expected to follow when writing on that company. 

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