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An Opportunity Zone success story

Dear Readers, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson commemorated Juneteenth by touring the ENCORE! redevelopment area in Tampa, Fla. — a formerly segregated neighborhood that is prospering once again, while staying true to its African-American roots. Following race riots of the 1960s, the once-bustling business district was demolished. But in 2009, ENCORE construction began to slowly revitalize the area, which was declared an Opportunity Zone in 2018. Today, ENCORE is a 12-block downtown neighborhood with 662 completed mixed-income housing units with ground floor retail and amenity space, a state-of-the-art district chilled water plant, district storm water [...]

An Opportunity Zone success story2020-06-30T19:19:24-04:00

Has it been 10 years already?

Dear Readers, The year was 2010, and that found me working as the business editor for a newspaper in suburban Chicago. There had been a lot of talk about financial reform at the federal level, to try and address the ills of the Great Recession, and as luck would have it, three of the legislators on the House Financial Services Committee (on both sides of the aisle) represented the small coverage area for our paper. That year, I learned more about derivatives, swaps, shadow banking, and mortgage reform than I ever wanted to know. That doesn’t even include the new [...]

Has it been 10 years already?2020-06-30T18:56:56-04:00

Welcome to the new world of business travel

Dear Readers, A few months ago, I would have flown to New Orleans for the Valuation 20/20 (formerly known as Valuation Expo) appraisal conference, reporting live on the news and notes my audience would find beneficial to their businesses. But with the arrival of the COVID-19 coronavirus resulting in a pandemic placed upon the country and stay-at-home orders by state government officials, “virtually” everything changed. And virtual is an operative word in that such a technological method would now be the safest of business practices for conference attendees; as opposed to boarding airplanes. And so, like many other business professionals, [...]

Welcome to the new world of business travel2020-06-29T06:58:23-04:00

The Title Report’s TRENDESETTERS – The Tonia Sellers Story

From the dairy farm to the settlement table One of the first things people tend to notice about attorney Tonia Sellers is her infectious laugh, but that doesn’t detract from her relentless determination and her willingness to roll up her sleeves to make things happen for her clients. Although her ability to wear different hats was nurtured during her early legal career, the foundation of her strong work ethic and versatile skill set was rooted at an early age growing up on a dairy farm in rural Alabama. “We didn’t take vacations,” recalls Tonia, 59. “When you grow up on a [...]

The Title Report’s TRENDESETTERS – The Tonia Sellers Story2020-06-24T08:02:36-04:00

Appraiser speaks of his COVID-19 ordeal

Dear Readers, We have seen the heartbreaking videos and have read all of the devastating numbers associated with contracted cases and lives lost as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Businesses and so many employees also have succumbed to the nation’s health crisis known as the pandemic. Professionally, some have had the good fortune of continuing at their jobs receiving consistent paychecks, while others did not fare as well. Personally, two friends of mine contracted the virus spending several days in the hospital. Thankfully, they have recovered and returned safely to their families, loved ones and friends. Over the past [...]

Appraiser speaks of his COVID-19 ordeal2020-06-15T06:51:12-04:00

Texas court IT hit by ransomware

Dear Readers, These days its increasingly important to be on the lookout for potential cyberattacks. Recently I came across one other example of why it is so important. The Texas Office of Court Administration (OCA), the information technology (IT) provider for the appellate courts and state judicial agencies within the Texas Judicial Branch, identified a serious security event in the branch network, which was later determined to be a ransomware attack. A statement announcing the attack noted that it was first discovered in the early morning hours May 8. It stated that the attack is unrelated to the courts’ migration [...]

Texas court IT hit by ransomware2020-06-01T07:30:07-04:00

A toast to the Class of COVID-19

Dear Readers, This is the time of year I’d normally be hopping on a plane and attending an industry conference to network with many of you, resulting in good story material for months to come. But like everyone else during this pandemic, I’ve had to adjust my personal as well as my professional life. Instead of attending a packed high school graduation for my son next week at a fancy downtown city venue as planned, commencement – after a series of postponements and canceled plans – now will consist of just six students at a time at our rival high [...]

A toast to the Class of COVID-192020-06-01T07:18:48-04:00

Register for the Evolving Lender Relationships Complimentary Webinar – May 21, 2020

Complimentary Webinar - Thursday, May 21 @ 2:00 PM EDT Register for Evolving Lender Relationships Explore the best strategies to increase referrals and learn the characteristics lenders are looking for in a partnership. Leaders from Wells Fargo and Better.com will examine the effect COVID-19 has had on the relationships in the lending landscape, and illustrate how vendor expectations have changed. Register today and listen in as they forecast what is next and discuss: What lenders can learn from their title partners How to collaborate with industry partners How to work with lenders on remote closings The relationship with affiliated and [...]

Register for the Evolving Lender Relationships Complimentary Webinar – May 21, 20202020-05-18T17:34:02-04:00

Taylor Morrison’s conservative approach to RESPA compliance

Editor’s Note: This is part of our continuing monthly series on affiliated companies. Our goal is to feature companies which have had history and experience with affiliated business to learn about their success and share the RESPA compliance lessons they have gained in these affiliations over time.  Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Taylor Morrison Home Corp. is currently the fifth-largest homebuilder in the United States. Last year, its affiliated title business, Inspired Title Services, made more than $20 million in gross revenue, operating in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Washington. “Inspired Title was formed five years ago [...]

Taylor Morrison’s conservative approach to RESPA compliance2020-05-11T08:29:45-04:00

ICBA: PPP window for small lenders was ‘very helpful’

Friday, May 1, 2020 For the first time since the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) launched April 3, the Small Business Administration set aside the “first come, first served” notion to provide an eight-hour window for lenders with $1 billion or fewer in assets to process applications.Early reports are that the technology system, which had so many glitches and crashes in the first round of applications and starting the second round, finally had been freed up. “It was very helpful. The reports I’m getting from bankers around the country is that a lot were able to finish up, or closely finish [...]

ICBA: PPP window for small lenders was ‘very helpful’2020-05-06T15:04:34-04:00