Title Matters – Vol. November 2016

This month’s article is presented by:
Mitch Landry, Attorney at Law


At this time of year, I typically comment that I cannot believe we are at the end of yet another year.  I doubt that I am alone in that.  But, here we are, closing out 2016!  To quote the great Mickey Mantle, “If I had known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself!”

Well, what a year it has been for those of us in the title, mortgage and real estate industries!  CFPB.  TRID.  CDs.  LEs.  PHH.  Wells Fargo.  Lighthouse.  MSAs.  Email scams.   Wire Fraud.  Best Practices.  Certifications.  Fines.  Penalties.  Mergers.  Privacy.  Remember the days when all we had to worry about was examining title, hiring competent people, and having clients sign their names exactly as typed?  Yes, I am over-simplifying, but, you get my point.

It is undisputed that our title industry has changed dramatically in the last few years.  We are now faced with a myriad of regulations, and the real possibility that more regulation is on the horizon.  We are faced with additional scrutiny by the lenders who entrust us with their business.  The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was 2917 pages long. For a visual perspective, that one Legislative Act is more than half of a box of paper.  The CFPB, created by Dodd-Frank, has promulgated another 22,000 pages of regulations (four and one-half boxes of paper).  We are now required by lenders to comply with ALL of that regulation in addition to RESPA and TILA as well as every other federal consumer protection law.  That is indeed an onerous burden for title professionals.

BUT YOU ARE NOT ALONE IN THAT BATTLE!  Your Louisiana Association of Independent Land Title Agents (“LAILTA”), supported by the National Association of Independent Land Title Agents (“NAILTA”), is here to help you to succeed in navigating the maze which our practices have become.  Your LAILTA is a non-profit trade organization representing YOUR interests.  Your LAILTA exists solely to support the independent title professionals of Louisiana.  As you can read on the LAILTA website, https://lailta.org/: “LAILTA seeks to:

  • Restore transparency and credibility to the land title process and preserve an objective and impartial role at the closing table to improve the consumer experience.
  • Address the proliferation of controlled business arrangements and eliminate conflicts of interest between title agents and their referral sources, as well as, between all real estate settlement service providers and their sources of business.
  • Establish minimum search standards for title examinations to restore faith in the system of land title.
  • Knit together common interests and concerns from across the country and across the entire spectrum of real estate settlement service providers to successfully advocate for independent agents and their like-minded partners in the real estate settlement service community in order to effect positive change on the title industry.”

In order to accomplish this impressive list of objectives, your LAILTA sponsors two conferences yearly – one in the spring and one in the fall – aimed at providing pertinent, up-to-date, relevant and helpful information to its members and their teams.  Both the spring and fall conferences offer participants Continuing Legal Education Credits and Professionalism and Ethics credits, as well as Continuing Education credits required by the Department of Insurance for the renewal of Title Insurance licenses.  These conferences always receive rave reviews for their content, speakers and locations.  Your LAILTA website (www.lailta.org) provides current information which alerts members to issues facing independent land title agents.  Your LAILTA also administers a Face Book page https://www.facebook.com/search/273462296015689/local_search?surface=tyah dedicated to disseminating information necessary to the success of Louisiana’s independent land title agents.  Additionally, your LAILTA publishes a monthly newsletter entitled “Title Matters” providing you with entertaining, informative, relevant and productive articles.

On the legislative front, we have worked – and continue to work – closely with senators and representatives in Baton Rouge on many issues pertinent to our title industry and to the consumer of title, notary, insurance and real estate products and services.  While we have passionate discussions on the best method to achieve our legislative goals, we always look out for the best interests of our industry and of the consumer.

As you can probably imagine, none of this happens without the dedication and hard work of your volunteer LAILTA Board of Directors and its support volunteers.  Below is a listing of your LAILTA Board and their respective email addresses.  Please contact one of us with your questions, comments, suggestions, issues, etc., as we want to provide you with the information you need.

I mentioned earlier that your LAILTA sponsors Spring and Fall Conferences.  Our Fall Conference will be held on November 13th, 14th and 15th , and will be held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, located at 921 Canal Street in historic New Orleans.  We begin with a fantastic icebreaker and networking event on Sunday evening at Bob Bergeron’s beautiful French Quarter home.  Great food, great drink, great company.  During the conference, we will present topics such as:

“CFPB – One Year Later” with Mike Airhart of Capital Area Finance Authority

“FIRPTA/Tax Liens” with Brandon Juneau of the Bryson Law Firm

“Louisiana Legislation and Jurisprudence Updates” with Peter Title of the Law firm of Sessions, Fishman, Nathan & Israel

“Tax Sales from the Underwriters’ Point of View” with Katie Belanger of the Fidelity National Title Group

“Common Claims and Common Sense – Part II, Screwing Up the Schedules” with Malcolm Meyer of Stewart Title Guaranty

“Recent Developments in Legal Ethics” with Dane Ciolino, the Alvin R. Cristovich Distinguished Professor of Law, Loyola University of New Orleans.

If you have ever had the great fortune to hear these speakers, you will know that this will be a very entertaining and informative conference.   Please make your hotel reservations quickly, as room availability will be affected by a Saints home game and other conferences being held in the Crescent City.

You can register for the conference on-line at www.lailta.org.

At this year’s Fall Conference, the following will be installed as your LAILTA Board of Directors:

Debbie Miller           Executive Director                          debbie@preferredtitleco.com

Mitch Landry           President                                           mlandry@andrus-boudreaux.com

Ben Luke                   Immediate Past President             ben@benlukelaw.com

Pat Miller                  Secretary                                           plmiller@preferredtitleco.com

Randy Olson             Treasurer                                          rolson@primetitle.net

Chad Reynolds                                                                     chad@legacytitlela.com

Melissa Flores                                                                      mflores@bwor.com

Ronny Champlin                                                                 ronny@champlintitle.com

Ben Marshall                                                                        ben@bulldogtitle.com

Susan Gay Viccellio                                                             sgviccellio@ssvcs.com

Jared L. Watson                                                                   jlw@rmwlegal.com

Ashley Coco                                                                          ashley@commercetitle.com

Lance Mosley                                                                       Lance@mosleytc.com

Robin Perrero                                                                      robinperrero@mmtitle.net

Woody Falgoust                                                                   wfalgoust@woodyfalgoust.com

If you are interested in becoming more personally involved in your LAILTA, please contact any one of those individuals.

Information regarding our national organization, NAILTA, can be found at: http://nailta.org/.

We work for YOU, the independent land title agent.  We are here to serve you.  We are here to help you find all of the tools necessary for your success.  Please take advantage of this valuable resource.  Please become involved in your LAILTA.  Your involvement is important to keeping the independent land title agents just that – INDEPENDENT.