A new requirement that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac file suspicious activity reports is expected to help fend off mortgage fraud.
A rule proposed in November 2011 would require the pair of secondary lenders to develop programs for the prevention of money laundering.
In addition, Fannie and Freddie are required by the rule to file SARs with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
On Thursday, FinCEN issued a final rule adopting, without significant change, all of the regulatory provisions outlined in the November 2011 proposed rule.
Currently, the government-sponsored enterprises file less-detailed reports with their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
With the final rule, Fannie, Freddie and the Federal Home Loan Banks will be required to file SARs directly with FinCEN.
“This will provide law enforcement and regulators with a more complete and timely national picture of suspected mortgage fraud and money laundering, as well as assist with investigations and prosecutions of significant mortgage fraud schemes,” a Federal Register filing Thursday said. “FinCEN closely coordinated this rulemaking with the FHFA, to which FinCEN is delegating responsibility for examining the housing GSEs for compliance with the regulations.”
The rule becomes effective in 60 days.