FinCEN Adds Reverse Mortgage Category to Universal Suspicious Activity Reports

In an effort to better capture and prosecute financial fraud across the United States, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has added specific categories to its universal suspicious activities reports (SARs) including a category for reverse mortgage loans. 

Financial institutions were required to begin use of FinCEN’s new reports starting April 1, which “allows law enforcement and regulators to slice and dice the information submitted in a much more advanced way,” said Jennifer Shasky Calvery, director of FinCEN, before attendees of the Mortgage Bankers Association  fraud issue conference in Hollywood, Florida on Monday. 

Options for suspicious activity information have expanded from 21 to more than 70, Calvery said in prepared remarks, to provide more detail on suspicious activities. 

“In particular, with respect to possible mortgage fraud, several new categories have been added, allowing industry to report on the types of frauds of most interest to law enforcement,” Calvery said. “Instead of simply checking “mortgage fraud,” financial institutions can now be more specific in terms of the type of fraud they suspect.”

Those types include reverse mortgage fraud; loan modification fraud; appraisal fraud; and foreclosure rescue fraud. 

Overall, suspected mortgage fraud is down based on 2012 data, Calvery reported, falling 25% from 92,000 SARs in 2011 to 69,000 in 2012. 

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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