FinCEN update and other news

FinCEN News | Elections | Old Republic Update | Florida Land Title Association Annual Convention Now Available in an Audio Version!

Dear Members,

Hope everything is going well with you and yours.  I have been spending most of the last month on the road at various meetings and this week’s blog includes some comments on those meetings.  But first…….an update on FinCEN!

FinCEN has issued a new Government Targeting Order that covers the period from November 17, 2018 through May 15, 2019.  The good news is that the confidentiality provision has been eliminated, the counties covered in Florida have not changed (Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade) and transactions in which a trust is the purchaser are no longer reportable. Disappointing news is that the threshold price remains at $300,000 for Florida transactions. Here is a link to the Fund Alert sent out last week.

Elections.  (Whew.  What a mess.)  A very important result was the re-election of Jimmy Patronis as Florida’s Chief Financial Officer.  This is important because CFO Patronis is in charge of the Department of Financial Services.  DFS regulates title insurance agents and does things like enact the Unlawful Inducement Rule and prosecute title agents/agencies for violating the Florida Insurance Code.  An equally important role the CFO plays is as one of four members of the Florida cabinet.  The cabinet also serves as the Financial Services Commission.  The Financial Services Commission can make final decisions about title insurance premium rates.  AHA!  I finally got to the point of this civics lesson!  Having served in this post before, CFO Patronis has demonstrated that he maintains an open mind and an open door to discuss title insurance issues, and I am very pleased he was re-elected.  I hope to meet with him before the end of the year to congratulate him and provide an update on The Fund.

More info about election results will follow in a future blog but we need to let the dust settle a bit.

Old Republic Update. One of the meetings I recently attended was in Boston (brrrr!).  It was a meeting of the Old Republic National Leadership Team and ORT Managers from all across the country.  My takeaways:

  • Great opportunity to get to know people throughout the Old Republic organization. They are a good resource on issues where we share concerns (underwriting, CPL liability, CFPB and other governmental regulation, industry disrupters, etc).
  • Old Republic is taking the issue of digital closings very seriously and has created a team to support agents in this change.  I hope to work closely with these folks to enhance my efforts to get Fund Members ready.  More about that in the future.
  • The Fund is an important part of the larger Old Republic family and we are getting noticed for our role in the company.  It’s great to get recognition for the work we do to help make YOU successful.
  • Boston continues to be one of my favorites cities.  Go Sox!

The Florida Land Title Association annual convention was held the week of November 12.  FLTA continues to grow as an organization, supporting both agents and underwriters.  Educational programs are being enhanced.  The organization continues to be very involved with the regulatory process in Tallahassee (see more below).  I serve on the FLTA board in my capacity as Chair of the Governmental Affairs Committee and I am excited about the opportunity to be involved.  Not many attorneys are members of FLTA so I encourage you to consider joining.  Here is a link to the FLTA website where you can get more information.

Final points:

  • Data call workshop in Tallahassee on Wednesday, November 28, 2018 at 10 a.m.  The focus will be on the Data Call itself - what data is collected, how much is too much, what data is important, etc.  Premium rates will NOT be discussed.  I will be there along with Leslie Anderson from HQ.  If you want more information, email me! 
  • I hope you are excited about  E-Closing and the changes to DoubleTime that are coming.  You should be getting information very soon about pricing. Information about additional features and the timing of the transition to the new program will follow.

Let me know how we can help you. 


Melissa Jay Murphy
Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer,
General Counsel and Secretary