Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending to Stay Independent Agency

Background. Every twelve years, Texas law requires a periodic review of every state agency by the Sunset Advisory Commission. The primary purpose of the review is to determine whether the state agency should continue to exist, and if so, to make recommendations for increased agency efficiency and effectiveness.

The Recommendation. As many of you are likely aware, in April 2018, the Sunset Advisory Commission issued a report recommending the abolishment of the Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending (“SML”) and its consolidation within the Texas Department of Banking. This recommendation was met by staunch public opposition by the Texas Mortgage Bankers Association, Texas Bankers Association, Independent Bankers Association of Texas, and the Texas Association of Builders (the Home Builders association).

The Decision. In a 9-3 vote, the Texas Sunset Commission reversed the recommendation of its staff and voted to continue the SML as a stand-alone agency. As a result, the SML should remain a separate agency for a least 12 more years, provided the Texas legislature ratifies the decision during the 2019 legislative session. This decision is welcomed news for the industry, which was overwhelmingly in support of maintaining the status quo of the SML.