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FinCEN proposes direct role in GSE mortgage fraud reporting

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The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which functions as part of the Treasury Department, is trying to take a more direct role in combating suspicious and fraudulent mortgage activities associated with loans insured by government-sponsored enterprises. FinCEN is proposing a rule that would require Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Federal Home Loan Banks to create programs to fight money laundering and get the companies to file suspicious mortgage activity reports directly with the finance cop network. Currently, suspicious activity reports go to Fannie and Freddie's conservator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which in turn reports those results to FinCEN. Ed DeMarco, acting director of FHFA, supports the proposal, which he says would streamline the reporting of suspicious activity by having the GSEs file their suspicious activity reports with FinCEN directly. "This is a positive step and we are pleased to work with FinCEN on this project," said DeMarco. "The proposed rule will streamline the process and build on the efforts of FHFA and the GSEs to support law enforcement in its important work to fight mortgage fraud." Write to Kerri Panchuk.

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