15 Apr

Q & A | What do I need to know about CFPB?

Q: What do I need to know about CFPB? A: The CFPB is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  It is an independent bureau within the Federal Reserve System, created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which was enacted in 2010 and implemented the most significant changes to financial regulation in the United States since the regulatory

11 Mar

Q & A | Revision of the “Prepayment Penalty”

Q: The FHA has always required borrowers to pay interest through month end, irrespective of the actual date the payoff was received by the lender, when a borrower paid a loan off prior to maturity.  Did the CFPB revision of the definition of “prepayment penalty” under the Ability to Repay and Qualified Mortgage rules mean

11 Feb

Q & A | Reverse Mortgage Forms

Q: Since Reverse Mortgages are not covered by the new TILA-RESPA Rule, does a lender have the option to use the new Integrated Disclosure Forms (Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure) on these transactions? A: The CFPB has answered this question, stating that the lender would not be prohibited from using the new disclosure forms on

07 Jan

Q & A | Probating Wills

Q: You may have heard the following phrase from an attorney, “You cannot probate a will if more than four years have elapsed since the decedent’s death.”  Is this fact or fiction? A: Fiction.  The statement that a will cannot be probated if more than four years have elapsed after the decedent’s death is actually

10 Dec

Q & A | Medicaid Estate Recovery Program Claim

Q: Is there something that an Estate for a deceased seller can obtain to verify that there exists no Texas Medicaid Estate Recovery Program (MERP) Claim? A: Yes, the representative or heirs/beneficiaries of a deceased property owner can complete an Authorization and MERP Certification form and submit it by mail or fax to HMS- The

08 Oct

Q & A | Inheritance for Collateral Kindred

Q:  When there is an intestate death, and the decedent did not have a surviving spouse or children or parents, leaving siblings as the heirs at law,  do half brothers and/or half sisters inherit the same percentage interest as a full brother or sister? A: No, the half brothers/sisters only inherit half as much as a

10 Sep

Q & A | Can I use a Mexican Matricula Consular (I.D. Card) as a form of identification for a notary acknowledgment?

Q: Can I use a Mexican Matricula  Consular (I.D. Card) as a form of identification for a notary acknowledgment? A: No. The Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code sets forth the statutory rules for taking acknowledgments and states:   “(a)  An officer may not take the acknowledgment of a written instrument unless the officer knows or

13 Aug

Q & A | Issuing a T-1R Owner’s Title Policy

Q: Do I always issue a T-1R Owner’s Title Policy if the property is “residential” real property? A: No. You should issue the T-1R only when the property is “residential real property and the insured is a natural person.” When the purchaser of residential real property is a business entity (e.g. Big Investor, LLC) you

16 Jul

Q & A | Sale, Conveyance, or Encumbrance of Homestead

Q: Why does the title company require joinder of both spouses on a conveyance or mortgage of a homestead property when it is the separate property of just one spouse, because it was purchased prior to marriage or there is a prenup agreement? A: Section 5.001 of the Texas Family Code, captioned SALE, CONVEYANCE, OR