November 20, 2018

In This Issue:

  • FinCEN Expands GTO Reporting to More Texas Counties, Adjust Thresholds and Requirements
  • Congressman Asks Fed to Consider Payee Matching Requirements on Wire Transfers
  • U.S. Senate Likely to Consider Kraninger Nomination to CFPB After Thanksgiving
  • Texas Lawmakers Punt on Setting a Spending Cap for 2019 Session

FinCEN Expands GTO Reporting to More Texas Counties, Adjusts Thresholds and Requirements

ALTA | Nov. 15, 2018
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced Nov. 15 the issuance of revised Geographic Targeting Orders (GTOs) that require U.S. title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind shell companies used in all-cash purchases of residential real estate.
The purchase amount threshold, which previously varied by city, is now set at $300,000 for each covered metropolitan area. FinCEN is also requiring that covered purchases using virtual currencies be reported. FinCEN also is dropping the confidentiality provision and removing GTO coverage for purchases by trusts. The extended GTOs run from Nov. 17 through May 15, 2019.
Covered areas include:
Texas: Bexar, Tarrant and Dallas counties
Florida: Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties
New York: Boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island and Manhattan
California: San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties
Hawaii: city and county of Honolulu
Nevada: Clark County
Washington: King County
Massachusetts: Suffolk and Middlesex counties
Illinois: Cook County
Read More »
NOTE: It is also TLTA’s understanding that all FinCEN currency transaction reports must be filed within 30 days of closing, that virtual currency transactions such as Bitcoin are also included, and that only owners with an equity stake of higher than 25% must be reported.

Congressman Asks Fed to Consider Payee Matching Requirements on Wire Transfers

ALTA | Nov. 15, 2018
U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) posed the question about payee matching requirements for banks and other financial institutions to Randal Quarles, a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve and the vice chairman for Supervision. Sherman started by sharing some background and startling figures about the growing threat of wire transfer fraud.
Since October 2013, the FBI reported losses of $2.9 billion in the U.S. due to business email compromise (BEC) or Email Account Compromise (EAC). Since 2013, global losses due to these fraudulent fund transfers has totaled $12.5 billion. According to the FBI, the number of BEC/EAC victims involved in the real estate transactions has increased more than 1,100 percent while there was a 2,200 percent rise in reported monetary loss.
“These scams are effective because there's no requirement that the name of the individual intended to receive a wire transfer actually matches the name on the account that the funds are deposited into,” Sherman said. “Has the Federal Reserve considered requiring banks and other financial institutions to apply payee matching when initiating a wire transfer?”
Read More »

U.S. Senate Likely to Consider Kraninger Nomination to CFPB After Thanksgiving

Credit Union Times | Nov. 16, 2018
The Senate intends to vote after Thanksgiving on the nomination of Kathy Kraninger to become the director of the CFPB.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) filed a cloture petition Thursday—a move that indicates he intends to bring the nomination to the floor. That petition limits debate on Kraninger’s nomination and prevents a filibuster.
The move comes as speculation grows that Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, who also serves as acting CFPB director, is angling for a nomination as Secretary of Commerce.
There is widespread speculation that the current secretary, Wilbur Ross, may be leaving the administration. President Trump has expressed his unhappiness with Ross several times.
The Senate Banking Committee narrowly recommended in August that the Senate confirm Kraninger.
Read More »

Texas Lawmakers Punt on Setting a Spending Cap for 2019 Session

Texas Tribune | Nov. 16, 2018
Some of the state's political leaders, including House Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, took the unusual step Friday afternoon of declining to set the state’s spending cap after calling a meeting to do just that.

Straus and Patrick met Friday meeting in their role as part of the 10-member Legislative Budget Board, a group whose responsibilities include setting a limit each session for how large the next two-year budget can be based on projections of Texans’ personal income growth.

Typically, the board of state lawmakers sets the spending cap late in November before an upcoming legislative session. Friday's meeting was scheduled with that action in mind. But Straus, who is retiring in January, said the board would instead vote on a spending cap at an unspecified later date, saying there was no reason to rush into a decision that lawmakers might come to “regret.”

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