The Liaison Committee met November 12, 2015 at Alliance Title Parkcenter. Some of the issues discussed included:
1. Jim advised of issues regarding Portfolio Packages that exceed the listing package. He advised these are ok to give out but because they exceed the information allowed in a listing package an upfront commensurate fee must be collected. Title agents should also be prepared to document staff member’s time and other production costs to justify the charge. An additional issue that has come up in conjunction with these portfolio packages is the companion cover letter. The cover letter cannot state or otherwise imply that with receipt of the portfolio package there is an expectation to close with the tile agent providing the portfolio package.
2. Jim also advised that from his northern Idaho trip an issue regarding escrow fees and CPL’s came up. The scenario regards title only orders where the escrow is retained by the referring outfit (in state i.e. from Boise or out of state). Out of state escrow companies are regulated by the Department of Finance. If in state, there is a question whether the escrow should be charged where the land is located or where the escrow is closed. Consumer issues have developed where the escrow is closed in a County where the property is not located and the escrow fee is greater than if closed in the County where the property is located. The scenario that has come to light is not where the matter is closed out of County for convenience or at the direction of the consumer but where the referring entity is retaining the escrow to generate escrow income. In these cases it appears that the consumer is not given notice or choice in the matter and could be paying more for service they could obtain locally in the County where the property is located. An additional issue this scenario creates is possible invalid CPL’s. A Committee is being formed to review this matter that will include Jim and a Department of Finance contact. Input and participation from Counties that are impacted/concerned with this scenario are encouraged to submit comments and/or volunteer to be a part of the Committee. Please contact myself or a Board member if you have interest and please submit your comments so that your voice is heard.
3. There will also be a Committee formed to review possible Rule 56 updates. In prior minutes we have discussed trade association donations, marketing allowances, educational functions and technology advances as possible areas of review. These issues affect members differently. Your Board wants all voices heard. If you have comments on these issues please submit your comments. You are also encouraged to volunteer to work on the Committee reviewing these issues. Please contact myself or a Board member if you can participate on the Committee.
4. Martin advised that he has met with Hilary who is the new Legislative Committee chair and her Committee members. Issues are relatively quiet at this time. The oil and gas issue is still out there but not extremely active at this time so we are monitoring. Our major issue is cleanup of the Parkwest issue where we continue to work on draft legislation that we would work with Sen. Davis to fully address the Parkwest issues.
5. Flat recording fees for types of documents was also discussed as a means to simplify the recording process. The issue came up with the Counties in the recent past when they brought up separate charges for multi titled documents. We will discuss this with the Counties to see if there is interest.
6. Another issue was discussed regarding lender closing instructions wherein some lenders are imposing indemnity provisions in apparent attempt to shift liability imposed on them by the CFPB onto closing agents. Please be aware of these new instructions and review the changes and discuss with your corporate counsel or otherwise seek advice on these matters.
7. The 2016 Pacific NW convention is set for September 9-11 and will be hosted by Oregon in Sun River.
8. Please also mark your calendar for the 2016 Ed Seminar that is set for March 3-4 at The Grove in downtown Boise.
9. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday December 10 at 10:00 at Alliance Title Parkcenter. This meeting will be available via conference call. The call in number is 866-951-1151 and conference ID is 6727266.