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Tuesday, November 2, 2021

FinCEN Targeting Extended for Six Months in South Florida

 By Kerry Smith

The rule that requires title companies to identify actual buyers – not shell companies – in 12 major U.S. metro areas now stays in effect until April 29, 2022.

WASHINGTON – The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced the renewal of its Geographic Targeting Orders (GTOs). The rules require U.S. title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind shell companies used in all-cash purchases of residential real estate of $300,000 or more in each covered metropolitan area.

Of the 10 major U.S. metros under FinCEN’s targeting rules, one is in Florida: The South Florida counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach. Without an extension, the last order was due to expire on Nov. 1, 2021.

The overall targeting orders are an attempt to identify and stop money laundering, which is generally considered a way to make ill-gotten gains become – or appear to become – legitimate by investing in real estate, businesses or other enterprises.

According to FinCEN, the GTOs provide “valuable data on the purchase of residential real estate by persons possibly involved in various illicit enterprises.”

The 12 U.S. metros included in FinCEN’s GOT extension include the full metro areas surrounding:

  1. Boston
  2. Chicago
  3. Dallas-Fort Worth
  4. Honolulu
  5. Las Vegas
  6. Los Angeles
  7. Miami
  8. New York City
  9. San Antonio
  10. San Diego
  11. San Francisco
  12. Seattle

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