Shannon Skurner photo_2008_small
Shannon Skurner
Vice President 

Texas Agency Manager
713-877-1780
sskurner@oldrepublictitle.com

Bulletin

 

 

The Commissioner of Insurance has issued his Order for the 2006 Hearing.

 

The Bulletin below will inform you which of the pending items were adopted, disapproved, and/or withdrawn.

 

Hope you have a great weekend,

Shannon Skurner

Order Issued for the 2006 Hearing 

The Commissioner of Insurance has issued his Order for the 2006 Hearing which adopted most of the pending items and disapproved eight of the items proposed on the Agenda for consideration. 

To view the complete Order, click here.

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Summary of Agenda Items
Disapproved and Not Adopted

The Agenda Items disapprovedand not adopted are: 2006-112006-13; 2006-23; 2006-25; 2006-28; 2006-37; 2006-44 (Specific Areas and Procedures 5); and, 2006-64

Special Mention:  Agenda Item 2006-44

One of the Agenda Items that was disapproved deserves special mention.

Agenda Item 2006-44 (Specific Areas and Procedures 5) proposed changes to allow tax search services to be passed through as a fee to the consumer.  The Department of Insurance recognized the many benefits obtained by using a tax search service but refused to adopt the proposal saying, "...tax search services have always been considered to be part of overhead and that a fee for such services is not enumerated as a consumer pass-through fee in the language of the current Specific Areas and Procedures 5 ."

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Summary of Agenda Items
Withdrawn

TheAgenda Items that were withdrawn are: 2006-41; 2006-52; 2006-53; 2006-54; 2006-62; 2006-63; 2006-66; and, 2006-67.

Brief Review of All Agenda Items

Unless a different date is specified in the Order, the Agenda Items
approved and adopted
by the Commissioner
are effective May 1, 2008. 

A brief review of each Agenda Item follows:   

  •  Agenda Item 2006-1      Co-Insurance Endorsement Form T-48

This item creates a new Endorsement Form to accommodate commercial lenders.  This allows a title insurer to co-insure a portion of the policy liability with one or more additional title insurers.

  •  Agenda Item 2006-2      Amendment of P-6

P-6 is amended to allow a Co-Insurer to issue the Co-Insurance Endorsement and allow a Co-Insurer to issue a Co-Insurance Endorsement to another title insurer's policy when the transaction exceeds $15 million.

  • Agenda Item 2006-3      New T-00 Form

The T-00 in current use is repealed and a new form is adopted to organize the information in a manner that helps the Underwriter report the information to the Department. 

You may view the new form by clicking here.

  •  Agenda Item 2006-4      Manufactured Housing Unit Endorsement 
                                            Form T-31.1

The existing form is amended to include coverage against a UCC or other personal property lien filed against the manufactured housing unit.  It also insures that the insured mortgage may be foreclosed on in a single foreclosure proceeding.

Underwriting Guideline:  You must conduct a UCC search in your county real property records and the Secretary of State's Office.

  •  Agenda Item 2006-5      Future Advance/Revolving Credit Endorsement 
                                            Form T-35

This Endorsement amends the existing form to change the name of the form and expand coverage to the lender to be more in line with the ALTA form of endorsement. 

To view the form, click here.

  •  Agenda Item 2006-6      Residential Property Affidavit Form T-47

The current form has been amended to remove the requirement that the name of a specific title company be inserted so that the affidavit could be executed at the time of the listing of the property for sale; or at the time the Earnest Money Contract is signed. 

To view the form, click here.

  •  Agenda Item 2006-7      1031 Qualified Intermediary

A new procedural rule P-63 was created to put the procedural parts of R-2(d) into its own procedural rule.  The new P-63 sets out wording to be used on a Sec. 1031 Exchange transaction in describing the name of the insured in Schedule A of the Owner's policy. 

To view the new rule, click here.

  • Agenda Item 2006-8      Subordinate Liens and Leases

This item creates new procedural rule P-64 to instruct title companies how to itemize subordinate liens and leases when requested to do so in writing by the Insured.  Previously, the instructions were set out in P-11b(8).

To review the new rule, click here.

  •  Agenda Item 2006-9      Owner Policy Required

This new procedural rule P-65 requires the title insurance company to issue an Owner policy on a residential transaction whenever a Mortgagee policy is issued.  The person acquiring title may reject the issuance of an Owner policy by executing the Owner Policy Rejection Form (T-56).

  •  Agenda Item 2006-10    Amount of Insurance (Policy Amount)

This item creates a new procedural rule P-66 which pulls into one rule the procedures used to determine the amount of premium due for Owner and Mortgagee policies.  These procedures were previously contained in other rate and procedural rules.

  • Agenda Item 2006-11      Disapproved

  • Agenda Item 2006-12       Name of Insured on Loan Policy or Commitment

Lenders have continually requested various wording be added to either their policies or commitments such as "successors and assigns".  Bulletin 157 previously addressed this issue.  Procedural Rule P-7 has been amended to incorporate Bulletin 157 and to make it clear that only the promulgated wording may be used.  It also clarifies that no such wording can be inserted in an Owner policy, any Endorsement or a Loan Title Policy Binder on Interim Construction Loan.

  • Agenda Item 2006-13      Disapproved

  • Agenda Item 2006-14       Contents of Commitment for Title Insurance

Procedural Rule 21 was amended to make the terms used in the rule consistent with language in the Insurance Code and to update references to the Commissioner of Insurance.

  • Agenda Item 2006-15       Continuing Education Requirements

Procedural Rule 25 was amended to remove the requirement that a company owning multiple title companies make multiple course submissions and/or assignments between the related title insurance company providers.

  • Agenda Item 2006-16       Texas Reverse Mortgage Endorsement 
                                              Form T-43

The procedural rule for Reverse Mortgages, P-45, was amended to comply with federal requirements regarding the Maximum Claim Amount and to allow the amount of insurance to be determined by lenders through lender estimates.

  • Agenda Item 2006-17       Sunset Provision

This item is combined with Item 2006-42 and removes the Sunset Provision contained in the rule.

  • Agenda Item 2006-18       Previously Withdrawn

  • Agenda Item 2006-19       Expiration Notice to Agent

Parts of Administrative Rule L-1, IV, A have been amended to require the Department of Insurance to send written notice of Agent License Renewal to each agent at least 45 days prior to the expiration date of the license.

  • Agenda Item 2006-21      Previously Withdrawn

  • Agenda Item 2006-22       Guaranty Association Fee Escrow Account

This item amends the Minimum Standards for Trust Funds language to clarify that maintaining a policy guaranty fee escrow account and a guaranty assessment recoupment charge escrow account separate from the agent's standard escrow account is optional.

  • Agenda Item 2006-23      Disapproved

  • Agenda Item 2006-24       Owner Policy Form T-1     

Owner Policy of Title Insurance has been renamed to Owner's Policy of Title Insurance (T-1) and other changes in language were made to resemble the ALTA 2006 Owner's policy.  The new form will allow the use of the street address of the insured property for reference only.  It is not insured as correct.

To view the new form, click here.

  • Agenda Item 2006-25      Disapproved

  • Agenda Item 2006-26       Loan Policy of Title Insurance Form T-2

This item as adopted renames the Mortgagee Policy of Title Insurance to Loan Policy of Title Insurance (T-2) and makes other changes to track language in the ALTA 2006 Loan Policy.  The new form also allows insertion of the street address for reference only as well as the Loan Number.  It allows the use of the box check manner of incorporating by reference requested Endorsements.  It also allows the deletion of certain areas and boundaries language by checking a box as well as deleting the appropriate portion of the tax exception. 

To view the new form, click here.  

  • Agenda Item 2006-27        Renames Owner and Mortgage Policies

Procedural Rule 1 was amended to rename Owner Policy to Owner's Policy and Mortgagee Policy to Loan Policy.  The amendments also change the names of these policies wherever the old names have been previously used or adopted including all rules and forms in the Basic Manual of Title Insurance.

  • Agenda Item 2006-28         Disapproved

  • Agenda Item 2006-29         Document Retention

This item amends P-32 to clarify the time periods for the retention of documents and to conform to UETA and E-Sign for electronically produced or scanned documents.

      ~Evidence of Insurability to be retained for 15 years
      ~Escrow Accounting documentation to be retained for 3 years 
      ~Title Insurance Policies to be retained indefinitely.

  • Agenda Item 2006-30       P-36 Arbitration Provision

P-36 was changed to conform to changes to the policy forms.  It also increases the threshold amount for arbitration to $2,000,000.

  •  Agenda Item 2006-31       Right of Access (P-37)

P-37 was amended to set out the language to be used when excepting to a lack of a right of access in a policy. 

To view the new language, click here.  

  •  Agenda Item 2006-32       Facultative Reinsurance Agreement Form T-18.1

This agenda item amends T-18.1 to conform to changes in the ALTA Facultative Reinsurance Agreement.

  •  Agenda Item 2006-33       Restrictions, Encroachments, Minerals Endorsement 
                                               Form T-19

This item conforms the T-19 to the ALTA form of endorsement and to the amended T-2Underwriting guidelines for this endorsement remain the same.  The premium charge remains the same.   

To see the revised form, click here.  

  •  Agenda Item 2006-34       Restrictions, Encroachments, Minerals Endorsement 
                                               Form T-19.1

This agenda item conforms the T-19.1 to the ALTA form of endorsement and to the amended form of the Owner's Policy (T-1)Underwriting guidelines for the issuance of this endorsement remain the same.  The premium charge remains the same. 

To view the revised form, click here.

  • Agenda Item 2006-35       Tertiary Facultative Reinsurance Agreement-Type I 
                                              Form T-21.1

Agenda item 2006-35 amends the existing Tertiary Facultative Reinsurance Agreement to conform to the amendments to the Facultative Reinsurance Agreement Form T-18.1.

  • Agenda Item 2006-36      Tertiary Facultative Reinsurance Agreement-Type II 
                                              Form T-21.2

Form T-21.2 was amended by this agenda item to conform to the amendments to the Facultative Reinsurance Agreement Form T-18.1.

  • Agenda Item 2006-37      Disapproved

  • Agenda Item 2006-38       Insured Closing and Settlement Letters

A new procedural rule P-67 was created by this item to require that each Underwriter must maintain an electronic database as to certain information from each transaction where an Insured Closing Letter has been issued.  Each agent and Direct Operation must be provided access to the electronic database record upon request.

  •  Agenda Item 2006-39       Consumer Notice

Another new procedural rule (P-68) has been adopted to implement the notice to consumers for complaint issues as required by the Administrative Code.

  •  Agenda Item 2006-40       Closing the Transaction

P-1 has been amended to confirm the definition of "Closing the Transaction" in the rule to the statutory definition contained in Insurance Code Sec. 2501.006

To view the new wording, click here.

  • Agenda Item 2006-41        Withdrawn
     
  • Agenda Item 2006-42       Sunset Provision

The Sunset Provision of P-53 was removed by this item to make it clear that P-53 will continue after January 1, 2008.

  •  Agenda Item 2006-43       Consumer Complain Notice

This item amends Insuring Forms T-7, T-1, T-1R, T-2, T-2R and T-44 to remove outdated language affecting the consumer complaint notice.

  •  Agenda Item 2006-44       Change to a Settlement Statement

Number 18 of the Minimum Escrow Accounting Procedures and Internal Controls Section V was amended to require any changes to a settlement statement be initialed by all parties affected or a new statement be prepared and signed.  The amended language also requires that a copy of the revised final settlement statement be provided to the lender and borrower.

Underwriting Guideline:  Any revised settlement statement must be approved by the lender.

  • Agenda Item 2006-45       Commencement of Business by a New Licensee

2006-45 amends Section VI. E of the Administrative Rules to provide that no agent can commence business in a county until the Department of Insurance has notified the agent that it is authorized to do so.

  • Agenda Item 2006-46       Attorneys Licensed as Escrow Officers

Administrative Rule L-2 has been amended to require attorneys licensed as escrow officers to close the transaction in the title agent's name, to use the title agent's escrow account, and to require escrow officers to keep a current address on file with the Department of Insurance.

  •  Agenda Item 2006-47       Escrow Officer's License

This agenda item clarifies that a non-attorney employee of an attorney must be licensed as an escrow officer prior to performing the duties of an escrow officer.

  •  Agenda Item 2006-48       Title Agent and Escrow Officer Licensing

This item amends L-1 and L-2 of Section VI of the Administrative Rules to make them consistent with changes to the Texas Business Organizations Code and to simplify licensing when a restructuring results in a less than 50% change in ownership.

  • Agenda Item 2006-49       Policy Guaranty Fee

Section VI of the Administrative Rule was amended to make it clear that all remittances must be postmarked on or before the remittance due date.

  •  Agenda Item 2006-50

The Texas Title Insurance Statistical Plan was amended to add codes for the Restrictions, Encroachments, and Minerals Endorsement Forms.

  •  Agenda Item 2006-51

This item proposed that the Commissioner set new title insurance premium rates.  The ratemaking phase of the hearing resulted in no change to the rates.

  • Agenda Item 2006-52      Withdrawn
  • Agenda Item 2006-53      Withdrawn
  • Agenda Item 2006-54      Withdrawn

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Agenda Items Incorporated
Into Other Agenda Item Changes

The provisions in each of these items have either been incorporated into changes made by other Agenda Items or were not approved by the Commissioner of Insurance:  2006-55; 2006-56; and, 2006-57.

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  • Agenda Item 2006-58    First and Subordinate Liens Issued Simultaneously

This item amends R-7 to clarify that when issuing a Loan policy on a first lien and other policies on Subordinate liens, the premium is calculated by adding all the policy amounts together and calculating the premium based on that liability amount, plus five dollars ($5.00) for each additional policy.

  • Agenda Item 2006-59    Rate Rules

This item adds certain portions of R-3 to R-15 for clarity and to eliminate cross references to procedural rules.

  •  Agenda Item 2006-60    R-18 Amended

Rate Rule 18 (R-18) has been amended to rename the rule to Refinance of Construction Lien and to clarify how to calculate premium when two permanent loans are used to refinance one construction loan. 

To view the changes, click here. 

  •  Agenda Item 2006-61    Statistical Code

The Statistical Code has been amended to revise and add a new Statistical Code to reflect the premium rates set out for T-19 and T-19.1.

  • Agenda Item 2006-62      Withdrawn
  • Agenda Item 2006-63      Withdrawn
  • Agenda Item 2006-64      Disapproved

  • Agenda Item 2006-65      Premium Splits (P-24)

After countless hours of consideration, meetings and conference calls as well as three different agenda items proposed for consideration this agenda item amends the current P-24.  The amended rule mandates that payment of a portion of the premium for (i) furnishing title evidence, (ii) furnishing title evidence and examining title, (iii) closing a transaction, or (iv) closing a transaction and examining title, shall not exceed certain parameters:

(a)   If the policy amount is in excess of $125,000.00, the premium shall be split 50/50 between the entity furnishing title evidence or furnishing title evidence and title examination and the entity closing the transaction and title examination.

(b)   If the policy amount is $125,000.00 or less, the split shall be 90% paid to the entity furnishing title evidence or furnishing title evidence and title examination and 10% paid to the entity closing the transaction and title examination.

The above percentages apply to the portion of the premium after payment of the Underwriter's portion of the premium.

Any payment in excess of these sums will be considered to be a violation of P-24 unless the Company, Agent or Direct Operation providing such services and the Company, Agent or Direct Operation paying for such services enter into a prior written agreement not less than 90 days prior to closing.  This agreement should specify and agree to percentages different than stated above.

Where the policy amount is $125,000.00 or less the title agents or companies may change the percentage if the entities are licensed in same or contiguous counties AND enter into a prior written agreement not less than 90 days prior to the closing specifying and agreeing to percentages different than set out in the rule.  All payments are required to be remitted no later than the 30th day after the date of recording by the county clerk of an instrument conveying an interest in the land.  This would include a loan transaction where there is no sale, such as a refinance transaction.

To review the amended P-24, click here.
This change goes into effect July 1, 2008.

  • Agenda Item 2006-66      Withdrawn
  • Agenda Item 2006-67      Withdrawn 

Should you have any questions or require further information,
please contact David Rhodes or Steve Streiff in our Legal Department.

 

David Rhodes Photo4
David Rhodes
Senior Underwriting Counsel
888-678-1700
drhodes@oldrepublictitle.com

Steve Streiff Photo02
Steve Streiff
Underwriting Counsel
888-678-1700
sstreiff@oldrepublictitle.com

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