The Liaison Committee met Thursday April 12 at First American Downtown. Some of the issues discussed included:

1. Martin gave a legislative recap for the ILTA’s successful year. The changes to Rules 25 and 56 focusing on cancelation fees being discretionary versus mandatory were approved and became effective with the sine die of the legislative session. The employee discount clarification that escrow fees were also applicable passed as did amendments to the Flat Fee law. Both of these bills become effective July 1, 2018. The HOA fee bill was also approved and becomes law on July 1.

2. Looking into the balance of 2018 and into 2019 the ILTA will work with the DOI in reviewing and consolidating the Rules applicable to title insurance. The realtors have a couple of bills in the works – 1) first time home buyers savings accounts, and 2) a review of the homeowner’s exemption.

3. Other issues we are monitoring are e-recording. Many states are further amending laws to enhance e-closings and allow for remote notary.

4. Ada County is no longer part of the Idaho Association of Counties. They are reviewing the possibility of bringing another bill regarding flat fee for recording wherein the process is further simplified with just one flat fee for all docs. This is a similar concept to what Wisconsin has where there is a $30 fee for all docs.

5. Another issue that might materialize regards earnest money and creating uniform instructions for the holding of these funds and the conditions of release versus interpleading the funds with the court. Washington has a statute on the process that will be reviewed.

6. Martin will be reviewing how the primaries play out and then see what would be effective IPAC contributions heading into the general election.

7. The Director has expressed his goal of reviewing all rules to see what can be eliminated and/or consolidated. As we head into this project we asked Paul Newton at First American to make a presentation as to what Utah has done and is doing so we had a perspective from a conservative neighboring state. Paul is and has been very active with the Utah regulatory process. Paul advised that in 1982 Utah added its title statutes as a change from the old abstract laws. Paul advised that it is an ongoing process to educate the UT DOI about title insurance and how it is different than the other lines of insurance. Utah has no plant law and there are over 200 agents with at least 130 in the Salt Lake area itself. Entry into the title business is further made easy as you only need to show 3 years of experience and get appointed by an underwriter or be an attorney. The lack of a plant law and easy entry into the business has had an adverse impact on the quality of title. In 2006 a Title and Escrow Commission was created that is comprised of industry and public with a goal to educate the DOI on title issues and pass Rules. Rules are reviewed and approved by the DOI in its goal to protect the consumer but also to protect businesses and consumers by preserving the solvency and viability of businesses. The commission has created meaningful Rules including addressing mechanic liens and the the earnest money issue with a concise instruction. A list is attached of the statutes, Rules and Bulletins in Utah. 

8. Mark your calendar for the 2018 Pacific NW Convention hosted by the ILTA at the Coeur d’ Alene Resort August 2-4.

9. 75% of the 2018 Dues have been returned. Attached are the dues forms for those who have yet to pay.

10. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday May 10 at the TFC Downtown office – Phil’s office 406 W. Franklin St.

Thanks. John