The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s semiannual SAR Activity Review: Trends, Tips & Issues says mortgage loan fraud suspicious activity reports (MLF SARs) increased less than 1% for the six-month period ended June 30, 2009, compared with the prior-year period. This is a sharp decline in the rate of increase after 33% and 44% increases in 2007 and 2008, respectively (see Filing Trends in Mortgage Loan Fraud, FinCEN, Feb. 2009, tinyurl.com/ygexybd). MLF SARs were 9% of all SAR filings in the first half of 2009, the same as 2008, compared with 4% in 2004.
FinCEN, a division of the Treasury Department, said 32,926 MLF SARs were filed in the first six months of 2009 compared with 32,660 MLF SARs in the prior-year period. Borrowers were by far the most-prevalent subjects of MLF SARS, accounting for 25,960, or 46%, of all subjects. “False statements” was the most common secondary activity associated with MLF SARs, appearing in 28% of all filings. California, Florida, New York, Illinois and Georgia, respectively, were the top five states included in filings.
SAR Activity Review: Trends, Tips & Issues , Issue 16, also includes trends in the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) E-Filing system, an analysis of inquiries received by FinCEN’s Regulatory Helpline, summaries of law enforcement cases involving SARs, and guidance on preparing SARs and avoiding common errors in their preparation. The report is available at tinyurl.com/ygbvtd3.