President's Message

December 23, 2013

Dear MLTA Members,

One of my favorite plays is Samuel Becket’s masterpiece, Waiting for Godot. As many of you know, the play is about two characters waiting endlessly, and as it turns out, in vain, for Godot. Over the thirty plus years as an attorney, I have called clients and events Godot - they never seem to show up or the event never seems to happen. Well, there was a time this fall when I thought that the Final Rule for Integrated Mortgage Disclosures was never going to be released by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). And, if it was released, we would have a very short time frame for its implementation.  Well I was wrong on both counts. The Final Rule was released on November 20 by the CFPB, and the Industry was given until August 1, 2015 for its implementation.

Yes, the new Rule will change the way we have done business for the past 30 plus years. It will make our job harder, but it will not put us, the MLTA members, out of business. On February 4, 2014, as part of our seminar in College Park, we will have a two-hour presentation by Bart Shapiro, Esquire of Offit Kurman, and Steve Gottheim, Esquire of American Land Title Association on the new Rule. Mr. Shapiro, until this spring, was a Senior Advisor at the CFPB and former director of the RESPA office at HUD. Mr. Gottheim is legislative counsel at ALTA and one of the industry’s leading experts on the Rule. We also have invited Richard Horn, Esquire of the CFPB to join a roundtable discussion. Mr. Horn is the team leader at the CFPB who promulgated the Rule. That portion of the seminar will provide 2 hours of credit for DC and MD (pending approval) and the remaining 2 hours of the seminar will provide an additional 2 hours of credit for DC.

Just before Thanksgiving, there was a great article in the Chicago Tribune about the benefit of having an owner’s title insurance policy. The article by Ilyce Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin related a story about a person who purchased a condominium in Washington, DC in 2008. As it turned out, the person who sold it was an imposter. The article goes on to say that by having an owner’s title insurance policy, the innocent purchaser would be protected no matter what the lender on the property did. I have printed the article and, henceforth, every time a purchaser asks me why they should buy an owner’s policy, I will give them a copy. Call me and I will give you the link.

In January 2014, MLTA will begin the re-design of our website to make it more robust and user friendly. Once the new website is operational in the spring, we will offer several web-based education programs. In late January, we will hold our First Annual Lobby Day in Annapolis. We need you to sign up, then come and ‘lobby” your state elected representatives. I also want to announce that Dr. Margaret Webb, our excellent Executive Director, has agreed to a new contract with MLTA starting this January.
All of our committees are hard at work. Convention planning has started, membership is in full swing, and with the legislative session just around the corner, Jim Cosgrove and our legislative counsel, Bill Pitcher are fast planning our legislative agenda. Which brings me to an important topic: new blood on our committees and ultimately on the Board of Directors. We are all busy; but for our organization to survive, we need member participation. Join a committee and work your way up the ladder. Run for a directorship next summer. Write an article for The MLTA Commitment. I’ve been President of DCLTA and MLTA, and in ten months, my leadership days will be over. WE NEED YOU!!!! Make that your New Year’s resolution!

Finally, my first months as your President have been a whirlwind. I never knew there could be so many conference calls and meetings. Anyway, have a safe and happy holiday. I’ll talk to you again on the other side. Rehoboth here we come!

My email address is

Steven M. Buckman