It’s a Family Affair

AA Davis Title, LLC in Crockett, Texas is a family affair in more ways than one. Sisters Liz Currie and Pam Pugh have each worked in the title business for 40-plus years. They started in the industry at one of the town’s title companies where they learned all aspects of the business. In June 2009, they joined a local attorney, A.A. “Buddy” Davis, when he opened A. A. Davis Title (Houston County) in Crockett. A year later, the sisters purchased the company following the death of Mr. Davis.
Liz handled the escrow side and closings while Pam took care of the title end. Although Pam is now officially retired, she still comes in regularly to help out. Their business has grown along with the staff. In 2014, they moved the title company to one of the town’s historic homes near downtown Crockett.
Living in a small town has allowed these ladies to build relationships with many of the people they do business with. Liz said they have grown their business by “…going over and above to do a good job. We treat everyone like family.”
First National would like to “spotlight” a good agent like A.A. Davis Title who believes as we do and think of agents/clients as part of the family.

Photo: Front Row: Cathy Copeland and Amy Crawford; Back Row: Liz Currie and Rhonda Flasowski.

DJ’s Motivational Mondays | Battle Ready

Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990, was dubbed by a Soviet journalist as the “Iron Lady” because of her uncompromising politics and leadership style.  Though not a great speaker In her early political career, she was always well-prepared and fearless with her answers to questions.  She was the youngest and only female candidate in several attempts to be elected to an office and lost until 1959 when she was elected as a Member of Parliament.  While Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher was commonly referred to as the most powerful woman in the world.  Thatcher was “battle ready” at all times.

As the summer approaches and business increases, we must get ourselves “battle ready” to meet the coming challenges.  Whether it is recruiting new staff, motivating our current staff, or dealing with challenges in specific files, I am inspired by Margaret Thatcher who said, “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”

George’s Update | I

“There is no ‘I’ in team.” Anyone who coached youth sports knows this phrase.  It goes on to say, “There are only ‘us and we.’”

Heard by G.H Stablein Esq. J.D. at a bar at Arizona State University

Calvin Coolidge, our 30th president, made 22 speeches during his presidency. Those speeches created 52,094 words. In those speeches, President Coolidge used the word “I” only one time (and no he didn’t speak of himself in the third person).

It struck George (get it?) that we, in our chosen profession, cannot do anything alone.

When you remit your hard earned remittances to FNTI (by the way, we are on track for another record year thanks to all of you), George knows that dollar comes from:

  • The owner /management of our agent that signed FNTI and continues to promote us to their work family.
  • The title department that exams title at a level of superiority unrivaled.
  • The escrow team that closes the deals written on FNTI in a way that gives the public the one thing all strive for when being part of the American Dream—peace of mind.
  • The receptionist—the true point guard/quarterback of any operation.
  • The Keith Burches of Texas Title Company of El Paso, who does all things that need to be done, whatever the challenge.
  • The administrators who make sure all things operational are operational.
  • The sales team who goes out and gets the public to use your company, which in turn we reap a portion of these fruits.

So, no “I’s”—only “we’s!”

Thank you!


2nd Quarter Deadlines to Remember for 2019!

 Payroll reporting to federal and state
• 940 (payment only, if any)
• 941 (forms only – if payments made timely)
• TWC (forms and payment)
 Sales tax reporting (monthly and quarterly filers) – due April 20
 Report to underwriters of March closings with $
 Deposit into solvency account, if required – due May 1
 Texas Workers’ Compensation insurance DWC Form-005, if applicable

 Sales tax reporting (monthly filers)
 Report to underwriters of April closings with $
 TDI Form T–S5 quarterly withholding tax report for first quarter
 Review surety bond amount

 Sales tax reporting (monthly filers)
 Report to underwriters of May closings with $
 Mid–year extensive review of un-cleared bank items on all operating accounts

Department of Insurance and TDI Division of Workers’ Compensation –
Texas Unclaimed Property –
Texas State Sales Tax Division –
Texas Workforce Commission –
Internal Revenue Service –

AGENT SPOTLIGHT: Pioneer Title & Yavapai Title Agency

Pioneer Title Agency is a family-owned business with strong local ties.  The Newlon family; Bob, his wife Betty, son Keith, and wife Cindy; founded Pioneer Title in Sierra Vista in 1985. Fifteen years later, they purchased Yavapai Title Agency headquartered in Prescott, Arizona. However, their foothold into the title business began much earlier. Bob, a life member of the Land Title Association of Arizona and active member of the American Land Title Association, has called Arizona home since 1935 and worked in the industry since 1958.  Keith, a 2010 inductee into the Northern Arizona University W.A. Franke College of Business Hall of Fame, followed his father into the title industry in 1979. They both have inspired the growth of the companies by empowering employees to grow and succeed.

The focus has been on Arizona’s smaller municipalities and towns where the company started, but thanks to strong leadership from the family, a handful of employees has grown into a nearly 800-member team with offices in every county across Arizona.

Operating under the philosophy of ‘Commitment to Service’ since inception, the commitment to community involvement has allowed their team the freedom to sponsor local sports teams, organize fundraising walks for local organizations, and to simply donate to causes important to individual employees and their families.

 “Our journey is really the journey of our people,” says Keith.  “Some of our strongest leaders within this organization started at entry-level jobs. Having them find success on their own path is so much better than having a big corporate culture that is focused on quarterly earnings reports and investors. Guessing right about people and supporting them no matter what—and beyond just a paycheck—matters in both business and life in general. When you hire good people and support them—they grow, we grow and learn, and success will follow.”

Every Pioneer and Yavapai Title office I have visited over the years have people that are top-notch. Their professionalism and desire to place the customer first at all times has developed a reputation and loyalty that is second to none.

LATEST NEWS: First National Title Insurance Company Adds Chance Perkins as Underwriting Counsel

PLANO, TEXAS – First National Title Insurance Company (FNTI) is adding to its underwriting team with the addition of William “Chance” Perkins.

The tremendous growth of FNTI since its inception in 2012 has created a need for additional underwriting counsel to service the needs of its increasing agent base. Chance Perkins brings experience from both the agency and underwriting sectors of the title industry. He has experience as an examining attorney with two title companies in Texas and most recently worked as Texas underwriting counsel for a title underwriter.

Chance will be a welcome addition to the FNTI underwriting staff to offer his expertise on residential and commercial transactions. He will also be a major force in the education of FNTI title agents as well as their clients in the real estate industry. He is certified to teach continuing education courses for both the Texas Department of Insurance and the Texas Real Estate Commission. Chance has previously implemented education programs and intends to continue this work at First National Title to create successful agency relationships.

“I am excited about the experience and enthusiasm Chance brings to our underwriting team,” said FNTI President Chris Phillips. “One of FNTI’s strengths is the underwriting support and service we deliver to our agents. As we grow, we are committed to maintaining the highest levels of customer service. With the addition of Chance, we intend to exceed your expectations and demonstrate our commitment to you, our independent agent.”

For the full press release, click here.

Underwriting Q&A : What are the IRS instructions for Form 1099-S reporting with respect to a married couple?

Q:        What are the IRS instructions for Form 1099-S reporting with respect to a married couple?

A:        The IRS makes an exception to its Multiple Transferor guidelines for spouses.  The IRS instruction for spouses is set out below.

For multiple transferors of the same real estate, you must file a separate Form 1099-S for each transferor. At or before closing, you must request from the transferors an allocation of the gross proceeds among the transferors. The request and the response are not required to be in writing. You must make a reasonable effort to contact all transferors of whom you have knowledge. However, you may rely on the unchallenged response of any transferor, and you need not make additional contacts with other transferors after at least one complete allocation is received (100% of gross proceeds, whether or not received in a single response). If you receive the allocation, report gross proceeds on each Form 1099-S accordingly.

You are not required to, but you may, report gross proceeds in accordance with an allocation received after the closing date but before the due date of Form 1099-S (without extensions). However, you cannot report gross proceeds in accordance with an allocation received on or after the due date of Form 1099-S (without extensions).

If no gross proceeds are allocated to a transferor because no allocation or an incomplete allocation is received, you must report the total unallocated gross proceeds on the Form 1099-S made for that transferor. If you do not receive any allocation or you receive conflicting allocations, report on each transferor’s Form 1099-S the total unallocated gross proceeds.


If the transferors were spouses at the time of closing, who held the property as joint tenants, tenants by the entirety, tenants in common, or as community property, treat them as a single transferor. Only one Form 1099-S showing either of them as the transferor is required. You need not request an allocation of gross proceeds if spouses are the only transferors. But if you receive an uncontested allocation of gross proceeds from them, file Form 1099-S for each spouse according to the allocation. If there are other transferors, you must make a reasonable effort to contact either spouse to request an allocation.

However, even if the transaction is not reportable, each spouse would have to give the certification.  The IRS instruction provides as follows:  Sale or exchange of a residence (including stock in a cooperative housing corporation) for $250,000 or less if you received an acceptable written assurance (certification) from the seller that such residence is the principal residence (within the meaning of section 121) of the seller and the full amount of the gain on such sale is excludable from gross income under section 121. If the certification includes an assurance that the seller is married, the preceding sentence shall be applied by substituting “$500,000” for “$250,000.” If there are joint sellers, you must obtain a certification from each seller (whether married or not) or file Form 1099-S for any seller who does not make the certification. The certification must be signed by each seller under penalties of perjury.

DJ’s Motivational Mondays | An Inspired Spirit

Many followers of this blog are aware I had a surgery in March to repair and fuse three vertebra in my neck.  The recovery has been great and my doctor is encouraged by my progress.  Leading up to and even directly after the surgery, my spirit was a little broken, and if you know me at all, I am a spirited person.  I am a go-getter and fight for my friends and family.  For me to admit that my spirit was even fractionally broken is not easy.  When the doctor mapped out the surgery and all he was going to do, I felt lost.  I can remember saying to my wife, “They are going to do what?”   You can imagine my animation. 

So many of you—my family, wife, son, friends, co-workers, and partners I work with regularly in the title industry—have inspired and encouraged me.  I have also been inspired by athletes who have had this surgery and those who have been through far more than me, like the 2019 Masters Champion from just this past weekend, Tiger Woods.  I am so grateful for everyone’s inspiration.

I recently wrote about the power of words, and the encouraging words I’ve received have lifted me and pointed my head up.  That is where our heads should always be, looking up for opportunities to inspire and lift one another in good and tough times.  We may not think this does much, but it makes a difference and bit by bit makes the world a better place.

Radio DJ Kidd Kraddick had a saying at the end of his radio show that are good words to live by, “Keep looking up, cause that is where it all is!”  

Be inspiring!!

Message from the CEO | First National’s Growing Legal Team and Title Plant Operations

Last week we announced the addition of William “Chance” Perkins as the newest member of First National Title Insurance Company’s (FNTI) legal team.  That was a very important announcement for a couple of reasons. It signified that our consistent and steady growth over the past seven years has allowed us to anticipate the needs of our customers/agents and react appropriately.  With five full time underwriting attorneys in Texas and one in Florida, we have one of the most accessible, responsive and experienced underwriting staffs of any underwriter our size. Secondly, it demonstrates our commitment to you. Your success depends upon your ability to close transactions. Our legal team, as well as the rest of the FNTI staff are dedicated to being the resource you need to get those deals closed. 

We are excited to have Chance join our underwriting staff and offer his expertise on residential and commercial transactions. He will also be available to use his presentation skills to educate our agents as well as their clients in the real estate industry. We will continue to add staff to FNTI in areas that benefit the independent agents, so please look forward to future announcements. 

Also, a year ago I announced the expansion of FNTI’s title plant operations in Texas to include the 33 most populous counties in the state.  Since then, we have added five more counties in Texas and two states.  We now offer title services in Florida and Arizona.

We established these title production centers to give our independent agents the tools they need to grow their business.  First National Title Insurance Company can be your title production partner. We are available to support your overflow orders and ease your title production stress. 

If the current level of business you experienced during the first quarter is any indication of the upcoming busy summer months, you will need some help. First National Title Insurance Company is prepared and ready to help you through this surge.

To get started, simply contact your agency representative for a complete explanation of our pricing, processes and the counties we service.  

We look forward to being your title partner and providing services that will truly benefit you. Our company motto that we “do business with those we know, like, and trust” still rings true.  It is a motto we live by.  We want you to know us, like us and especially trust us.