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 (see Filing Trends in Mortgage Loan Fraud, FinCEN, Feb. 2009). 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.