On November 15, the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) toughened regulations on all-cash real estate transactions, requiring greater transparency for high-end buyers and sellers.
U.S. title companies must now state the names of individuals behind limited liability (LLCs) or shell companies making an all-cash residential home purchase of $300,000 or more, Fortune Magazine reports. FinCEN also expanded the definition of "all-cash purchases" to now include bitcoin and other virtual currencies. The disclosure requirement updates and expansions are part of an effort to better track money laundering and other illegal activities funneled through real estate transactions, and purchases made through LLCs.
The rule changes increase the number of reports the office will receive in addition to expanding the number of cities to which the regulations apply. Las Vegas, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, and Dallas-Fort Worth were all added to the list of monitored metropolitan areas, joining Honolulu, Miami, New York City, Los Angeles, San Antonio, San Diego, and San Francisco. Previously, the disclosure threshold varied by city—the rules applied to cash deals of $3 million or more in Manhattan, for example, but just $500,000 or more in San Antonio. Now, the individual behind any all-cash deal by a limited liability company, or LLC, of $300,000 or more in any of the 12 cities must be named.