The Liaison Committee met Thursday November 10 at the DOI. Some of the issues discussed included:
1. Jim gave an update on several issues. The Rule 56 amendments have been further amended in taking out the proposed guidelines for social media. The DOI had concern that the proposed wording could be interpreted as impacting free speech. The DOI suggested working on language for next year that focused on the social media impact on co-branding and co-advertising. The director also felt that removing a couple of the issues that could be hot buttons with other groups like the realtors would allow the bulk of the provisions to be approved.
2. The discussion about removing guidelines led to discussion about self policing. Director Cameron was occupied during the liaison meeting but came into the board meeting that followed and clarified his position on self policing. “Director Cameron said that he is in favor of self-policing within limits. Enforcement is the Department’s responsibility, and agents should be wary of crossing the line between the two. Agents have a moral and ethical responsibility to report violations to the Department.”
3. Jim gave an update on the Red Vision title product. Jim indicated the Red Vision product was described as a lot book type report with gap coverage. When pressed to explain gap coverage the Red Vision spokesperson indicated the gap coverage covers employee errors but not missed liens. The Red Vision web site indicates that they protect against title defects. Needless to say, Jim expressed much concern with the Red Vision product as an unlicensed product from an unlicensed entity and his investigation is ongoing. If you have information regarding Red Vision or any other product or entity with a similar scheme please contact Jim.
4. Jim indicated the out of County closing issue was on the back burner for now.
5. Martin gave a legislative update. The Secretary of State is moving forward on the e-signature bill in line with the uniform law and we continue to be involved in the working group. The Counties are meeting on the flat recording fee issue at the end of the month and it looks like they will be neutral or might support our bill. Martin indicated we have a sponsor for the bill in Rep. Megan Blanksma and the realtors and bankers are also in the loop. The condo fee issue is progressing with the realtors driving the matter. Rep. Jim Rice will sponsor their legislation. Martin indicated that the local elections did not result in anything real shocking. However, in conjunction with the primaries there will be a fair number of new legislators and the makeup’s of the committees might change some.
6. Tom Williams made some comments regarding Rule 56 and related issues. Tom expressed concern with prior DOI determinations that employee discounts were prohibited as inducements. Jim clarified that that the DOI further reviewed this matter and believes that the current law/rule allows for employee discounts on title insurance up to the agent commission amount. However, the law/rule is silent on escrow fees so they don’t believe that is allowed at this time. Tom also expressed that focus should not be on listing package items that are often the result of a key stroke versus more substantive issues of escrow fees. In particular, Tom expressed concern with the minimum negotiable fee being used as a maximum instead of a negotiating point. Much of the discussion supported Tom’s concern that this formula has in essence turned into an inducement scheme. If you have thoughts on this issue please express them to your board and/or to Jim.
7. The next ed seminar is scheduled for Feb 13-14, 2017 at The Grove. We will be bringing back the legislative reception on Monday of the seminar. If there are certain topics you want to see at the seminar please let us know.
8. The 2017 Pacific NW convention will be hosted by Washington at Suncadia August 16-18, 2017.
9. Idaho will be hosting the 2018 Pacific NW convention in Coeur d’ Alene Aug 2-4 at the Coeur d’ Alene Resort.
10. The next meeting will be 10:00 December 8 at Alliance Title Parkcenter. Attached is a schedule of Liaison Meetings for December 2016 through December 2017.