Take Action with ALTA & Updates on AOLs, Attorney Value Campaign and Foreign Interests

Hello Fund Members,

I've been enjoying the cooler weather and hope you have, too. Fall decorations are up everywhere and I am always impressed with the energy and creativity exhibited by some folks!

This week, I want to encourage you to take some action. Please join ALTA's Title Action Network. Here's why.

Attorney Opinion Letters etc. The challenges to the importance of a title insurance policy and whether "title assurance alternatives" are viable continues. The industry has done an incredible job of educating regulators and lawmakers in Washington on the value of title insurance to both a lender and a consumer purchasing a home. The most recent win was the decision by FHFA to take "off the table" any discussion by Fannie Mae about a possible pilot in which NO title insurance (or alternative) was required on certain loans. But Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue to accept AOLs in lieu of a title insurance policy in certain circumstances. We remain concerned and vigilant. Members of Congress remain concerned as well. Last week, U.S. Reps. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY) and Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX) introduced legislation that requires title insurance issued by a state licensed and regulated title insurance company on all loans purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Protecting America’s Property Rights Act (HR. 5837) is a companion bill to S. 2687, introduced by Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) and cosponsored by Sen. Katie Britt (R-AL). What can YOU do? I regularly encourage you to join the Title Action Network (TAN), a free, grassroots organization focused on promoting the value of the title insurance industry. You’ll receive alerts to help us act and let members of Congress know that decisions by the GSEs threaten the stability of the economy and will place undue risk on lenders and taxpayers. You do not need to be a member of ALTA to join TAN.  Please show leaders in Washington that Fund Members are engaged and watching!

Click here to contact your Representative and Senators and ask that they co-sponsor the Protecting America’s Property Rights Act. If any of your members of Congress have already signed onto the bill, you may send a thank you letter. If you’re not a member of the Title Action Network, click here to join and help protect your business and industry.

Attorney Value Campaign. I am thrilled to report that after only 6 months, our Attorney Value Campaign ads have been viewed more than 33 MILLION times! We are out there promoting your value, and people are seeing it. Talk about raising awareness! If you aren’t leveraging the power and reach of this campaign, what are you waiting for? Download the Dynamic Duo & Superhero Media Kits to start promoting your practice directly to real estate professionals and consumers. If you want to be listed in the Real Estate Attorney Directory, you can join a REC via the link on the same page. Here is the landing page link: https://www.thefund.com/resources/marketing.aspx  

Foreign Interests in Real Property Update. There is quite a bit of activity in the rule-making arena. The Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) is holding a second workshop on Tuesday, October 24, 2023, to discuss the adoption of an affidavit form. The Department of Commerce has held one workshop, and I am in conversations with the Department about specific provisions in their proposed rule (which establishes the process and forms for the registration by a Foreign Principal and several other details). So, bottom line, there is no final affidavit form and there is no registration process or forms as of yet. Please continue to send your questions to foreigninterests@thefund.com. I enjoy seeing the types of issues you face in your practices and we do our best to provide you with appropriate guidance.

That's all I have time for this week! Let me know how we can help you.


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