Money Laundering Through Residential Real Estate Difficult to Detect, FinCEN Says

By Matt Squire

Money laundering through residential real estate is more difficult to detect than traditional mortgage loan fraud because laundering involves the purchase and regular payment on residential property, the U.S. Treasury Department said Thursday. Reports from financial institutions of suspicious transactions involving residential real estate have leveled off after peaking in 2004 and 2005 at the height of the mortgage lending boom, according to a Financial Crimes Enforcement Network study of SARs filed between 1996 and 2006. However, as the current mortgage crisis peaks and more adjustable rate mortgages reset to fixed rates, SARs on residential real estate transactions may begin...