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Inside Washington (11/08/2011)
  • WASHINGTON (11/9/11)—Credit unions and other interested parties have until Dec. 1 to comment on new regulatory guidance on flood insurance. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and federal bank regulators have made updates to the interagency questions and answers (Q&As) regarding flood insurance first issued in 2009. Specifically, the agencies have requested comment on two proposed Q&As: When should a lender send a force-placement notice (Q&A 60); and, when may a lender or servicer charge a borrower for the cost of insurance during a 45-day notice period (Q&A 62). The agencies also request comment on the requirement for forced-placement of flood insurance (Q&A 57). The new guidance also finalizes two Q&As from the 2009 guidance that address the insurable value of a building (Q&A 9) and when the lender must have flood insurance if the borrower has not obtained insurance within the 45-day notice period (Q&A 61), and withdraws a Q&A regarding exceptions to insurable value (Q&A 10). CUNA seeks comment by Nov. 25. …
  • WASHINGTON (11/9/11)—The comment deadline is set for Jan. 9, 2012 for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network's (FinCEN's) proposed rules defining certain housing government-sponsored enterprises as financial institutions for the purpose of requiring them to establish anti-money laundering programs and to report suspicious activities pursuant to the Bank Secrecy Act. The proposal to require these organizations to establish anti-money laundering programs and report suspicious activities is intended to help prevent fraud and other financial crimes. In its Federal Register document FinCEN stated that criminal activity can arise at different times in the product cycle of residential mortgage related transactions, affecting a range of persons in the primary and secondary markets. "In the traditional money laundering sense, criminals may attempt to invest the proceeds of illegal activity in a range of assets, including real estate, such as through direct purchase or in  paying down loans. The purpose of fraud, regardless of whether in conjunction with a mortgage or other real estate related transaction, is overwhelmingly for criminal profit, and the proceeds of such fraud often are laundered through one or more transactions involving financial intermediaries. The victim of mortgage fraud might be an individual losing equity in a home, or a defrauded lender or investor. Fraud may have an impact on the securitization of mortgages, potentially affecting the availability of mortgages and the cost to borrowers," the document notes. Comment may be submitted electronically at or submitted by mail to FinCEN, P.O. Box 39, Vienna, VA 22183. Include 1506-AB14 in the submission and refer to Docket Number FINCEN-2011-0004. …

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