TLDA Response to Sunset Commission Recommendations

The Texas Department of Savings & Mortgage Lending (TDSML), which is the regulating agency of our industry, appears before the Sunset Committee this week, in consideration of their recent recommendation to abolish the agency, rolling it into the Texas Department of Banking.  The Texas Land Developers Association has formulated the below response and invite our members and stakeholders to contact members of the Sunset Committee to express our support of the TDSML and our opposition to the Sunset’s recommendation to consolidate the agencies.

As small business-owners, developers, and seller financiers doing business in the State of Texas, the TLDA supports maintaining the Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending (TDSML), and opposes the Sunset Commission’s recent recommendation to collapse it into the larger Department of Banking.

We service lower income Texans by opening doors of opportunity to homeownership and work to revitalize struggling neighborhoods.  Our focus is on families and properties that have been passed over by traditional lending institutions.  Because of this, we are concerned with this “one-size-fits-all” approach to our industry, from both a business perspective as well as from that of the consumer.  Our industry is not a large, powerful, politically connected institution; we are individuals.  We are not bankers; depositories; mortgage brokers; money servicers; and we do not sell our loans on the secondary market.  We are concerned with the possibility of being regulated as such.

Moreover, residential mortgage transactions – with or without a domicile – are already subject to the Texas Secure & Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2009, which gives the State of Texas purview in its enforcement of the Federal Safe Act.  Like so many federal laws, it requires pre-clearance by the Consumer Federal Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Because of these concerns, we strongly believe that the structure and current portfolio assignments of the Finance Commission and its constituent agencies remain “as is,” with the specific continuation of the Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending as the state regulator for owner financiers.

Please consider using this information in a written letter of testimony to the Sunset Commission.  Feel free to edit as you see fit, to best represent your business and interests.  You may submit it online by clicking this link, filling out the required information and pasting your letter into the text box provided.

Furthermore, we recommend sending a personalized copy to each member of the Sunset Commission, either via mail or email.  I have included the list of members here.
Email addresses for Senate members are as follows:  FirstName.LastName@senate.texas.gov.  US post may be sent to The Honorable First Name Last Name, Texas Senate, P.O. Box 12068 – Capitol Station, Austin, Texas 78711.
For House members please email to FirstName.LastName@house.texas.gov. US post may be sent to The Honorable First Name Last Name, Texas House of Representatives, P.O. Box 2910, Austin, Texas 78768.
For the two public members, Emily Pataki and Ronald Steinhart, please send in care of the Texas Sunset Commission, P.O. Box 13066, Austin, Texas 78711. There are no email addresses available for either of them.

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