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Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs)

FinCEN Announces Regulations Geared Towards Anti-Money Laundering

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The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) finalized anti-money laundering (AML) regulations that will require the housing government sponsored enterprises (Housing GSEs) to develop programs for the prevention of money laundering and to file suspicious activity reports (SARs) with FinCEN. This Final Rule adopts, without significant change, all of the regulatory provisions contained in FinCEN’s November 2011 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.Click to continue

FinCEN Reports Foreclosure Rescue Scams on the Rise

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Suspicious activity reports (SARs) regarding foreclosure rescue scams continued to grow in the first half of 2012, even as the total number of SARs indicating mortgage loan fraud (MLF) declined, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has announced in its latest Mortgage Loan Fraud Update. This update to FinCEN's prior MLF reports looks at SAR filings from April through June 2012 (2012 Q2).Click to continue

Mortgage Fraud Increase Shows the Importance of Valuation Professionals

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In the wake of recent studies that mortgage fraud in the United States continues to rise, the Appraisal Institute has encouraged lenders and consumers to work with valuation professionals who hold competence and ethics in the highest regard. Of course, fraud often involves multiple individuals, and no one segment of industry professionals alone can combat such activity.Click to continue

Anti-Money Laundering Program: Preparation is Protection

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The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, recently finalized regulations (Final Rule) requiring non-bank Residential Mortgage Lenders and Originators (RMLOs) to establish an Anti-Money Laundering Program (AML Program) and file Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs), as FinCEN requires of other types of financial institutions.1Click to continue

FinCEN Examines Title and Escrow Fraud

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Pressing forward in its efforts to address a wide range of criminal risks, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has released its first targeted study analyzing reports indicating suspicious activities involving the real estate title and escrow industry. The study identified thousands of instances where financial institutions, particularly banks and Money Services Businesses (MSBs), filed suspicious activity reports (SARs) involving title and escrow companies, often in connection with mortgage fraud.Click to continue

California, Nevada and Florida Remain Hotbeds for Mortgage Fraud

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The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has released its First Quarter 2012 Update of mortgage loan fraud suspicious activity reports (MLF SARs) that shows California, Nevada, and Florida leading the nation in the number of MLF SAR subjects per capita. Of the 50 most populous Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) ranked by the number of MLF SAR subjects reported, the top nine are MSAs located in California, Nevada, and Florida, with the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana of California area ranked first in the nation.Click to continue

Mortgage Fraud Suspicious Activity Reports See 31 Percent Year-Over-Year Rise in 2011

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The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has released its full-year 2011 update of mortgage loan fraud reported suspicious activity reports (MLF SARs) that shows financial institutions submitted 92,028 MLF SARs last year, a 31 percent increase over the 70,472 submitted in 2010. The increase can primarily be attributable to mortgage repurchase demands. Financial institutions submitted 17,050 MLF SARs in the 2011 fourth quarter, a nine percent decrease in filings over the same period in 2010 when financial institutions filed 18,759 MLF SARs.Click to continue