Letter from NMLTA President - Dale Rycraft, Jr.
Greetings NMLTA members!
As I am three-quarters of the way through my year as president of the NMLTA, I am proud of the progress we have made on issues important to our members. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve you, our industry, and our state’s real estate marketplace. I feel honored to be working with a group of talented and hardworking individuals from all corners of our state who possess a strong desire to protect and strengthen our industry and the communities we serve.
Without a doubt, the economic conditions of 2022 resulted in significant challenges for the real estate marketplace in New Mexico. Despite the headwinds of a difficult economy, we worked hard to accomplish many of the goals we set for the 2022/2023 term.
One of our primary goals was to improve education opportunities for our members. An important part of this goal was to bring back in-person title school, which had been a casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic. In October 2022, we held the first in-person title school since before the pandemic. The all-day title school provided six continuing education units and was well-attended with approximately 80 participants. Our next Title School will be in October 2023.
Another high priority was to bring our New Mexico policy and endorsement forms up to date. It has been over six years since our forms were last updated to the most current ALTA versions. We are also faced with a mandate from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to only use 2021 ALTA forms beginning on January 1, 2024. Our Forms Subcommittee decided to break this task into two phases. The first phase is focused on updating existing forms only. The second phase will be to request the promulgation of new forms at the next ratemaking hearing later this year. We have been working closely with the Title Insurance Bureau and have their support. We expect the effective date for the use of updated 2021 ALTA version of existing forms will be September 1, 2023.
Unless current proposed legislation passes, the next ratemaking hearing will commence by November 2023. We have been actively preparing for a November 2023 hearing. In preparation for the next ratemaking hearing, we have searched for, interviewed, and retained a new actuary, a new economist, and a new law firm. With this new team of professionals, we plan to take a different approach than in recent years and work even harder on behalf of our members.
As of this date, we are about halfway through the 2023 60-day legislative session. The NMLTA is supporting two bills that are very important to our members: 1) HB 79 – Amends NMSA 59A-30-8(A) to change the mandatory hearing cycle from every two years to every third year; and 2) HB 250 – Amends NMSA 47-1-57 Scrivener’s Error Affidavit statute to broaden our ability to use scrivener’s error affidavit to fix drafting or clerical errors. The OSI has indicated they are not opposed to these bills, and we are hopeful both bills will pass without difficulty. We are also monitoring several other bills of interest and will continue to represent the interests of our members as appropriate and necessary.
On another note, we recently completed the conversion of our website to a new platform. We are excited about the new capabilities the new platform provides and look forward to taking full advantage its features and benefits. Among its many features, our website includes an Association calendar, a membership directory by county, education information, and much more. Watch as we work to make our new website more comprehensive and a more valuable tool for our members, consumers, and other people looking for information regarding the New Mexico land title industry.
If you have not done so already, please make plans to join us at our annual convention at the Inn of the Mountain Gods in Ruidoso, New Mexico on May 4th and 5th. The agenda includes opportunities to hear about issues the NMLTA is considering, as well as opportunities to have your insights, thoughts, and opinions heard. We want to hear from everyone. We have also booked live entertainment and fun activities to make this convention one you won’t want to miss. Information regarding registration and booking accommodations is available on our website.
Last, if you are not actively involved already, I would like to invite you to look for ways you may be able to help your NMLTA continue its important work. Your time, talent and resources are hugely important to the success of our association, our communities, and our industry. If you would like to learn more about ways you may be able to serve, please feel free to contact me. I would be happy to discuss opportunities with you.
Dale B. Rycraft Jr.
New Mexico Land Title Association