The number of suspicious activity reports citing possible mortgage fraud fell in 2012 for the first time in over a decade, according to a report published Tuesday by the U.S. Treasury Department.
Tens of thousands of non-bank residential lenders and originators are not yet in compliance with Bank Secrecy Act rules five months after the passing of a U.S. Treasury Department deadline.
Dozens of state regulators may have trouble absorbing new anti-money laundering oversight duties for nonbank mortgage lenders should Congress approve a plan forwarded by the Obama administration.
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.
Plans by the Obama administration to pursue civil and criminal cases against institutions that illegally promoted mortgage-backed securities could also bring scrutiny to anti-money laundering compliance officers.
The U.S. Treasury Department said Monday it plans to close a "regulatory gap" by requiring non-bank mortgage lenders to report suspicious activity to the country's financial intelligence unit.
Non-bank mortgage lenders may soon have to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act as part of a broad effort to shield loan companies from money launderers, according to a U.S. regulator.
The U.S. Treasury Department asked banks Monday to be wary of individuals and companies trying to take advantage of the government's loan modification program.
A national bank examiner defrauded banks out of more than half a million dollars by using phony court and financial documents, Illinois prosecutors said last week.
The investigative arm of the Internal Revenue Service, charged with tackling intricate tax and money laundering cases, is shifting resources to handle a mushrooming mortgage fraud caseload, according to current and former special age
The legislation, which would provide $300 billion in mortgage loans guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration, was approved Thursday by a vote of 266 to 154, with 39 Republicans joining Democrats.
The measure would extend state foreclosure rules to nationally chartered financial institutions.
The proposal would empower the Federal Housing Administration to make new guarantees on up to $300 billion of outstanding subprime mortgage loans. Lenders would be required to waive penalties and fees and record a write down, accepting 85 percent of a property's appraised value.
Efforts to mitigate distressed mortgage loans aren't keeping pace with soaring delinquencies, according to a study by a group of state officials. Nearly 300,000 loans were in some stage of foreclosure and an additional 133,000 foreclosures were completed at the end of January, the study found.
A federal bill that would require banks and other institutions that service mortgage loans to negotiate workouts for troubled borrowers would unfairly limit the lenders' ability to foreclose, industry representatives said Wednesday at a congressional hearing in Washington, D.C.
Mortgage fraud cases skyrocketed during the real estate boom of the past decade, and the problem is likely to get worse this year, fraud experts say.
The House Financial Services Committee approved a bill that would authorize each federal banking regulator to write its own consumer protection rules, giving them a greater role in combating abuses in the subprime mortgage lending arena.
Seeking to help alleviate the mortgage market crisis, Senator Charles Schumer introduced legislation on Monday that would expand portfolio limits for the housing government sponsored enterprises and allow them to buy larger loans.
Criminals will increasingly turn to real estate deals to commit fraud and launder their illegally obtained cash as long as the industry continues to operate free of anti-money laundering regulations and without uniform agent licensing rules, banking analysts and regulators say.
Many believe a surge in suspicious activity reports filed for suspected mortgage fraud - and the findings of two 2006 FinCEN reports detailing rising fraud and money laundering in mortgage lending and real estate - could force the agency to begin regulating those businesses as early as this year.