FinCEN Eyes Extending AML Requirements to Real Estate Settlement Businesses

By Brian Monroe and Colby Adams

Real estate title companies, appraisers and escrow agents may be required to file suspicious activity reports and perform customer due diligence, a U.S. Treasury Department official said Monday. The Department's Financial Crime Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is considering anti-money laundering regulations for real estate settlement businesses as part of its larger oversight of residential mortgage lenders and originators (RMLOs), FinCEN director Jim Freis said in a speech to mortgage bankers at a conference in Phoenix. The agency is facing pressure to extend rules to escrow and settlement-related groups because there is a feeling that lax oversight in the mortgage sector contributed...