Washington Report

Advocacy Updates from Washington D.C.

NAR & Treasury Meet About Anti-Money Laundering Efforts

In an effort to combat money laundering in the real estate sector, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) at the Treasury Department issued a Geographic Targeting Order (GTO) that will temporarily require certain U.S. title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind companies used to pay “all cash” for high-end residential real estate in Manhattan and Miami-Dade County.  On February 3, NAR General Counsel Katie Johnson will meet with representatives of the Treasury Department and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international body established by treaty to assess member states efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.  NAR has argued, and Treasury agrees, that real estate agents and brokers are not in a position to detect money laundering since the funds involved in real estate transactions are handled through regulated financial institutions.  NAR has worked closely with FINCEN and Treasury to develop voluntary guidelines for real estate professionals to identify signs of money laundering.  NAR has promoted this information among its members through numerous website links, workshops at national meetings and various publications.