Dear ILTA Members,
I hope each of you are enjoying the wonderful Idaho Spring that is in full swing and are enjoying a robust start to your busy summer season. This is one of my favorite times of year due to the renewal and growth that abounds in nature, and the opportunity that is ours, as citizens of this great country, to formally remember all who have served and sacri-ficed for our great country and give thanks for their tremendous sacrifice. For those ser-vice men and women within our ranks I express my heartfelt gratitude for your service – thank you!
I want to give a brief overview of the recent ALTA Advocacy Summit that Heather Wichman, John Holt, and myself had the opportunity to attend and represent each of you. The summit was packed with a lot of information on important topics such as GSE Reform, Wire Fraud, Remote Online Notary, restructuring at the CFPB, and perhaps the most important aspect – speaking with our state representatives to inform them of the issues that are most impactful to us here in Idaho. Preparatory to our time on Capitol Hill, we had the pleasure of being addressed by CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney. His comments were timely due to the fact that they were perfectly aligned with the topics we were planning on discussing with our legislators the following day. In his remarks, Director Mulvaney highlighted his vision for the bureau – reduce\remove burdensome and outdated regulation, and provide consumers with fair access to financial services. As an association, our two talking points with our legislators were: 1) Asking our representatives to push for the passage of the TRID Improvement Act in the Senate (S.2490), which would require the CFPB to adjust how title fees are disclosed to consumers. This bipartisan legislation (H.R. 5078) has already passed the House unanimously. This was an easy ask for us due to the fact that Senator Crapo was instrumental in helping draft the legislation. 2) Asking our representatives to support the GUIDE (Give Useful Information to Define Effective Compliance) Act (H.R. 5534) which is a legislative approach to directing the CFPB to provide proactive and reliable guidance to the TRID rule, thus eliminating the current cli-mate of regulation through enforcement. This would help reduce the amount of organizational interpretation of the rule, and help streamline the practices within the lending and settlement services sectors.
Perhaps one of the most poignant messages I came away with was the importance of meaningful involvement. Just like those men and women who have sacrificed so much in the defense of our liberties if we want protect our way of life we need to be involved. We must be actively involved in our federal and state associations, as well as communicate regularly with our local, state, and federal legislators on issues that we are dealing with and/or that are harming our industry. Change is inevitable and it is up to us whether or not we affect change or be effected by it.
It is my pleasure to serve you, the members of the Idaho Land Title Association. Thank you for this great opportunity.
ALTA Advocacy Summit
Are you committed or just interested? Consider attending ALTA’s Advocacy Summit in the future. This is a fast-paced, shorter conference in the nation’s hub of political happenings – Washington, D.C.. This year’s event was load-ed with speakers in the news – Mick Mulvaney, Acting Director of the CFPB; Scott Jennings, founding partner of RunSwitch Public Relations a large public relations and public affairs organization and an on-air Political Commentator for CNN; and, Mike Allen, political journalist and co-founder and executive editor of Axios, and former chief political re-porter for Politico.
Jennings served in key roles in President George W. Bush’s campaigns and became Special Assistant to the President in 2005. He had key roles in the appointment of US Supreme Court Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito and served in senior communication positions to help elect US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Congressman Brett Guthrie. Jennings spoke about the 2018 Election Outlook and pointed out that President Trump’s approval ratings at this point in his presidency are most similar to Presidents Reagan, Carter, Truman and Ford. The theme across the country that is most accepted is one of peace and prosperity. Americans feel better about the direction of the country (i.e. discussions with North Korea are at a 2/3 approval). 62% of Americans now feel it is a good time to look for a quality job. This is up from 43% who felt this about the economy on election day. American’s trust in institutions (government, big business, the presidency) is way down while trust is way up for small business, the police, and the military.
Mike Allen from Axios opined about the state of the union indicating that several major themes are driving forces across the nation – women empowerment and the “Me Too Movement”; “Never Again” themes regarding the shootings at schools, Vegas, Orlando and others and gun control; Technology and artificial intelligence; and, Trump as a unique President and his obsession with the media. Allen sees positives in the nation regarding improved consumer and business confidence; tax cuts; and national security. Negatives he sees are the limited pipeline of talent in the President’s staff. This is based on no expectation of winning so no jobs were set in advance. The limited organization that was instigated by Chris Christy was lost when he was removed from his position. Allen concluded by stating a major negative has been the media which is less popular then congress. The media has changed in that it does not explain what is happening and does not report the news. The media has become a largely partisan communicator of biased opinion.
Mick Mulvaney, Acting Director of the CFPB spoke to the group in a very candid fashion. He came across as very enthusiastic and wanting to do the right thing with the CFPB. In his mind that means doing what the law says is the duty of the CFPB. Mulvaney expressed a position that is minimalist in approach and by the book. What the law says must be done is what the CFPB will do. There are several things that are mandates under the law regarding reducing unwanted and duly burdensome regulatory rules; ensuring that markets transact transparently and consistently; providing consumers with timely and accurate information; and, protecting consumers from unfair deceptive and inducement practices. If it’s in the law he intends to enforce it. Administering by enforcement when there is no road map, no clarity, and no stated penalties is not the way the CFPB should operate. In looking at the law the first point he noted is that the CFPB was not implemented as the CFPB. It was implemented as the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection – the BCFP (or “Bureau” as Mulvaney referred to the entity). Mulvaney’s approach is to enforce only what the law specifically spells out and nothing more. The Bureau is sending out requests for information so they can determine what is working and what is not so they can understand the issues and make improvements. They will respond to the requests for information and respond by the book. He emphasized the intent is not to push the envelope but to follow the rules. The major issue we have taken with the Bureau is the accurate disclosure of title insurance fees that account for discounts. Mulvaney hoped this was in our requests for information submissions (it is!!).
Other speakers addressed the multiple generations at play in the workplace. The “Silver Tsunami” where 60% who are over the age of 65 have indicated no intention of leaving the workforce must be balanced with millennials entering the workforce and baby boomers as they all jockey for position and growth. Technology must be ad-dressed as it is a disruptor. Websites need to be state of the art as well as social media. Utilizing technology in recruiting is a must as is recognizing technology regarding the status of your business – i.e. sites such as Glass Door need to be reviewed and monitored as these sites review your work place. Diversity and inclusion must further be addressed in the workplace and thinking outside the box in how you compensate and make your work place attractive for recruiting and retaining employees are necessary considerations in keeping your workplace viable and relevant.
I had the opportunity to make a presentation during the meetings at the request of ALTA to speak on the ILTA relationship with our regulator. This is always a topic of discussion and often a frustration expressed by many states who have little to no relationship with their regulator. Idaho is proud to have a thirty-year relationship with our regulator. This was built out of the Department of Insurance and has since been taken over and nurtured and grown through the years via the Liaison Committee, our lobbyists and a collaborative dialogue our Association takes with the DOI. The mutual respect we have with our regulator and purposeful inclusion for them to under-stand our unique business and challenges is unprecedented as compared to the vast majority of other state land title associations. It was great to share our success in this setting and a big thank you and pat on the back is de-served for our Association in this continued accomplishment as we stand above our peers on this front.
Lastly, we visited with our federal legislators. Our issues were focused on two “asks”. The first was for passage of the TRID Improvement Act. This is a one-page bill that simply allows for accurate disclosure of title insurance fees and discounts. HR5078 already passed this Act and S2490 was introduced as the Senate version. The TRID Improvement Act was necessary as it was not included as part of S2155 which was Senator Crapo’s bill that rolled back some of the Dodd-Frank and BCFP requirements regarding banks. While it is feasible the BCFP could ad-dress this issue in response to the requests for information, this legislation would be a faster approach and have more staying power. The second “ask” was for passage of the GUIDE Compliance Act (The Give Useful Information to Define Effective Compliance Act). This Act was introduced as HR5534 to get written guidance and clarity to the compliance requirements from the BCFP. Clear written requirements with a penalty matrix would help tremendously as we work with the lenders regulated by the BCFP and allow us to enhance our Best Practices. While there was no specific third “ask” we also alerted our federal legislators about the escalating concerns with wire fraud. Any help they can provide to kick up awareness and education to consumers and the various entities we work with (realtors, lenders) is vital to keep pace with the sophistication of criminals. Wire fraud as part of payment fraud has grown from 8% to 50% in the last 10 years which amounts to losses in the billions of dollars.
Pacific NW Convention
The Pacific NW Convention is fast approaching. Your ILTA is hosting in Coeur d’ Alene August 2-4 at the Coeur d’ Alene Resort. The agenda follows on the next page. Don’t miss this opportunity for education on the hot top-ics of the day including the strategic priorities of ALTA; block chain; e-closings; the latest trends in marketing and sales; cyber security; and, a CFPB and TRID update. We are bringing in the top speakers who speak nationally at ALTA events. Locally, we have engaged Terry Gurno as a renowned regional speaker to provide a keynote inspirational/motivational message at the banquet based on his experiences in the Iron Man events.
There will also be immeasurable opportunities for networking with peers from Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Montana and regional and national representatives from vendors and underwriters. Don’t miss out. You can register online at www.idaholandtile.com via paypal. In a separate attachment are registrations forms that can be sent in or emailed for registration via credit card. Hotel rooms are booking fast so please contact the Resort to make your reservations by calling 1 (800) 688-5253 and asking for the Pacific NW Land Title group rate. An online link to the Resort is also available in the attached registration forms. There are a variety of accommodations available to suit your needs. The Hotel cutoff date is June 22. DON’T MISS OUT. BE COMMITTED AND NOT JUST INTERESTED. There is incredible value in participation!!
Pacific NW Land Title Convention
Coeur d’ Alene Resort, Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho
August 2-4, 2018
8:00 am – 2:00 pm Optional Underwriter Education
1:00 pm – 4:30 pm Registration
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm FORE! Golf Clinic – Rules, Etiquette and Golf Basics for Every Golfer, Justin Lake PGA, Troon Golf
Fly Fishing Basics – Casting for the Big One – John Northrup, Rocky Mountain Region Development, Old Republic Title
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm Individual State Business & Board Meetings
5:00 pm – 6:45 pm Ice Breaker Reception with the Vendors & Idaho PAC Raffle
6:45 pm – 7:30 pm Group Cruise to BBQ in Event Center at the Resort Golf Course
7:30 pm – 9:30 pm BBQ – Hosted by the Underwriters at the Hagadone Event Center (Sports Theme – Wear your Favorite Team Gear)
7:00 am Breakfast with the Vendors
8:25 am Welcome, Daryl Olsen, ILTA President
8:30 am The Path Forward: ALTA’s Strategic Priorities to Advance the Industry, Steve Day, NTP and ALTA President
9:30 am Blockchain – Jeff Wiener, Old Republic Title
10:30 am Break with the Vendors
11:00 am The Ins and Outs of E-Closings – Vickie DiPasquale, Simplifile
12:00 pm Lunch with the Vendors
1:00 pm Think Bigger: Invigorate Your Marketing Efforts, Wayne Stanley, Owner and Chief Inspiration Officer, Bowe Digital
2:00 pm Sales, Dr. Cindy McGovern, CEO/First Lady of Sales, Orange leaf Consulting
3:00 pm Afternoon Break
3:15 pm Cyber Security – Mike Krueger, Sr. Director Information Security, First American Title Ins. Co.
4:15 pm State of the Industry Update – A CFPB and TRID Update, Leslie Wyatt, Director of Regulatory Compliance, Soft Pro
5:15 pm Education Program Ends
6:00 pm Banquet Reception & PAC Silent Auction
7:00 pm Dinner with State Announcements; Installation of Officers; Silent Auction Winners; Vendor Intros; Raffle Distribution
8:00 pm unFINISHED Business, Terry Gurno, Keynote Speaker
6:30 am – 7:30 am Boat to Golf Course, Breakfast & Warmup
8:00 am – 1:00 pm Golf Tournament
8:00 am – 3:00 pm Optional Underwriter Education