SB 1516 by Sen. Hancock (Rep. Geren) was the top legislative priority for FACT this session.
The bill helps align current state law with recent changes at the federal level on issues relating to the oversight of Appraisal Management Companies (AMCs) and the collection of fees. Federal law requires states to provide AMC oversight and registration programs, and in 2011, the Texas legislature passed the Texas Appraisal Management Company Registration and Regulation Act (Chapter 1104, Occupations Code) which placed the oversight and regulation of AMCs operating in Texas under the Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board (TALCB) to comply with the Federal requirements.
New federal regulations will require states to collect the same fee and other relevant information from any members of a class of AMCs called a "federally regulated AMC". Currently there are no AMCs identified which fall under that definition, but this bill will authorize TALCB to set and collect a fee from any such AMC to recover the administrative costs, if any, incurred by the agency to comply with this new federal requirement.
SB 1516 also repealed outdated provisions, made needed terminology corrections, and aligned Chapter 1104 with current federal requirements and state law. SB 1516 also corrects terminology for consistency, updates definitions and exemptions regarding federally regulated AMCs and AMCs operating in multiple states, and conforms state law to existing federal law and recently adopted federal AMC rules regarding ownership eligibility, primary contact listings, the collection of national AMC registry fees, and the reporting of disciplinary actions.
This bill was proposed during a legislative session where new fees and occupational regulation are frowned upon. Despite broad industry support, many legislators were very reluctant to file bills that limited economic activity - even when required to do so by federal law. Thankfully, the relationships with key members developed by FACT over the years paid off. As a result, SB 1516 has been signed by Governor Abbott. The bill's earliest effective date is September 1, 2017.