SUPPORT NEEDED FOR DEBT FORGIVENESS ACT – NOW ON THE HILL

Congress is scheduled to vote on the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act (MFDRA) today.  The bill is an attempt to reclassify and thereby forgive foreclosure-related debts as taxable income.  The MFDRA has been reinstituted several times since it was originally passed in 2007.  Congress must pass this bill in the remaining days of the 113th Congress in order for the IRS to apply favorable tax treatment to struggling homeowners who use it. Proponents of the MFDRA say it will help to provide housing market flexibility by allowing homeowners to short sell underwater mortgages thereby foregoing the specter of foreclosure and keeping banks out of the business of owning real estate.  Opponents of the measure believe the MFDRA is akin to a government subsidy for the housing market because tax dollars that otherwise would have gone to the U.S. Treasury will now be forgiven as debt and not collected. NAILTA previously issued a revised white paper in support of extensions to the MDRA. Many of our members and represented industry colleagues have handled the ever-growing number of short sale transactions that have helped homeowners avoid foreclosure and maintain the continuity of land transfers. Without the MDRA, the short sale market will collapse and foreclosures will increase putting an already strained real estate market on the way backward. Support for the MFDRA from the housing industry is unanimous and the measure is likely to pass both the Senate and the House and be signed into law.  To voice your view on the measure, please contact your member of Congress today.  To determine who your representative is, please click here:  http://www.opencongress.org/people/zipcodelookup. For more information, please...

2014 Conference – Opening remarks from Anthony L. Affatati, Sr., President of NAILTA

I want to welcome our attendees, vendors and loyal sponsors to our/ your 7th Annual Education Conference in the historic city of Savannah, Georgia. Ranked by history as the first colonial and state Capitol its history dates back to the 16th century as a leading port city coveted by both Spain and later England. Founded by the Spanish and abandoned in the late 1500’s. General Oglethorpe arrived in the colony to provide England with a buffer between Spanish Florida and French Louisiana and established religious freedom and tolerance welcoming Irish and French Catholics, English Protestants and Sephardic Jews. In some ways NAILTA history parallels to the Georgia history. Paraphrasing Edmund Burke encroachment occurs when industry professionals do nothing.  We were founded by independent purist in 2009 to provide a buffer zone of sorts and representation of all independent industry stake holders who wish to be free of joint ventures, marketing agreements and bad actors in our industry who are in part of reverse competition. Lacking effective representation they prepared an agenda to begin addressing the problems that were being encountered by both settlement agents and consumer alike. The growth has been slow but consistent made up of dedicated volunteers who recognized the deficiencies they advocated on both the national and state level for change in the status quo and education for the consumer. Dealing with regulators as well as legislators the first lobby day was initiated in 2009 with the policy and legislation committee taking the lead. Since that time we have been hosting 2 per year increasing our viability with legislators on both sides of the aisle. As word...

Independent Michigan Title Agents Form State Organization

We are proud to announce that Michigan independent land title agents have formed the Michigan Association of Independent Land Title Agents (MAILTA) in affiliation with the National Association of Independent Land Title Agents (NAILTA). The newly-formed organization is now taking membership applications from interested parties. If you would like to out more information about MAILTA membership opportunities, please send your email inquiries to info@nailta.org or info@mailta.org and to get in touch with this exciting new group. Earlier this spring, several independent land title agents met in Grand Rapids, MI to outline the objectives of the new organization. The meetings centered on the need for independent organizations in states like Michigan and touched on the concerns faced within the state and the relationship of local MI issues to federal issues. It was a very positive discussion that led to the result of a new organization. While MAILTA leadership encourages continued membership in MLTA, it appears now that a separate independent land title agent representation in the state is necessary to protect independent & consumer interests. Having representation at the independent agent level through MAILTA and through MLTA gives important professional perspective and coalition power to the title insurance industry. MAILTA joins similar organizations in Kentucky (KAILTA), Indiana (IAILTA), Ohio (OAITA), New Jersey (NJAILTA), Arkansas (AAILTA)  and Louisiana (LAILTA) in serving the state needs of independent land title agents. Membership in NAILTA as an Michigan resident will automatically entitle you to membership in MAILTA and reciprocity will also apply if you join MAILTA (i.e. membership in one affords membership in the other).  For more information on becoming a member of NAILTA and MAILTA, please visit www.nailta.org. If you are interested...

Fiscal Cliff

On January 1, 2013, Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act. Of direct concern to title insurance agents doing business in the arena of short sale transactions is the fact that the the bill also contained an important extension of the Mortgage Debt Relief Act (MDRA) of 2007, which NAILTA supported and advocated for. The extension of the MDRA until December 31, 2013, permits troubled homeowners considering short sales to avoid income tax on the forgiven deficiency. Had the bill not been extended, the advantages of the short sale option would have all but disappeared. Currently, short sale transactions make up approximately 30% of all pending sales in the United States. We want to thank NAILTA’s Policy and Legislative Affairs Committee (PLA) for their hard work in advocating these concerns to Congress and helping to get the bill into the fiscal cliff negotiations. Well done, NAILTA! Click here for a copy of our President’s Memorandum on the subject. The memo provides our members with some valuable information concerning the fiscal cliff bill for small...