View this email as a web page.

Welcome to 2019! Another year has flown by and as I play back through the events and happenings of 2018, I am struck by the volume of changes in our escrow world, and how they continue to expand at a pace that is hard to keep up with! We continue to have to adjust and adapt as everything “e” and more changes on the regulatory front are upon us.

The big challenges of 2018 for the escrow industry were the implementation of SB 2 and the FinCEN Geographic Targeting Order that initially came with a gag order prohibiting title companies from divulging its specifics. Though SB 2 seems to have somewhat “settled in,” and the FinCEN GTO is no longer top secret, more changes are on the horizon.

I anticipate 2019 to be a very interesting year full of new topics to share information on, such as AB 375: The California Privacy Act; and the next version of a Remote Online Notarization bill, which should be forthcoming shortly.

Debi Peters, CSEO

Your OCEA Board of Directors met in early December to plan for 2019, and I am excited about the discussions we had and the information we want to bring you this year. Details of topics to be covered will follow. For now, please be sure to mark your calendars for our General Membership Meeting dates so you won’t miss a thing:

February 20
March 20
May 15
September 18
November 20

In addition, after having a very successful Day of Education in 2018, we’ve scheduled one for this year, too! More info to come on that later, but for now, be sure to mark it on your calendar: April 13, 2019.

Those of you who attended my opening presentation at CEA conference in October know that I talked about the subtle changes that have come about in our industry over the last 9 years or so, largely brought about by the 2007/2008 “economic meltdown.” We may not love change, but it is a constant that can’t be avoided, and with it comes the need to reinvent ourselves to remain relevant. Being a part of OCEA gives you a voice in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.; as well as opportunities to discuss the changes with industry peers, and to learn about them proactively.

I encourage you to join us for OCEA’s educational events and meetings, and to invite your favorite real estate agents, loan officers and loan processors as well. As an industry, we need to gain a better understanding of each other’s roles in the transaction, to work together more effectively. Technology is forging forward, and not always making our jobs easier. The more we gain understanding of the whole process, the better we can help the technologists who are building the tools to expedite the transaction - to build them in such a way as to facilitate what we do vs. hindering us.

Your Board of Directors and I will continue to bring you relevant topics and information. OCEA’s very purpose for being is education, and our goal is to provide you information that will help you remain relevant as the digital transformation continues to emerge and change the ways we do settlement. If there’s a topic or a speaker you’d particularly like to hear, please let us know! I’m already seeing and hearing rumblings of requests for more “creative” types of escrows - and this is to be expected in periods of change in the market. We appreciate your input and will do what we can to incorporate your wishes. There’s a very good chance that your escrow sisters and brothers are looking for the same answers you seek. As “they” say: the only bad question is the one that doesn’t get asked!

I’m excited to be representing OCEA and its membership as President in 2019. I thank you for the opportunity to do so, and look forward to seeing you at our meetings this year!

Mickey Vandenberg