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FinCEN Extends Buyer Targeting to 8 Fla. Counties

GTOs require title companies to verify actual buyers of property. FinCEN extended its order to April 2024 and added 8 Fla. Gulf Coast counties to the list.

WASHINGTON – The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced the renewal and expansion of its Geographic Targeting Orders (GTOs).

GTOs require title insurance companies to identify the real-life people, or “beneficial owners,” behind companies, usually corporations, in cash purchases of residential real estate.

FinCEN’s goal is to limit money-laundering in real estate, which has historically happened sometimes when shell companies use cash to buy residential real estate.

The latest GTO terms went into effect on Oct. 22 and extend to April 18, 2024.

Since creating the system to identify beneficial owners, FinCEN has consistently extended the rule’s time period and often added new county and/or metro areas to its list. FinCEN says the latest extension will “further assist in tracking illicit funds and other criminal or illicit activity, as well as continuing to inform FinCEN’s regulatory efforts in this sector.

South Florida counties – Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach – were already under the FinCEN umbrella and will have their terms extended, but the latest order also adds eight new Florida counties to the list.

The program for the new counties runs for the same term but doesn’t go into effect until Nov. 21, 2023. The purchase amount threshold remains $300,000 for each covered metropolitan area, with the exception of the City and County of Baltimore, where the purchase threshold is $50,000.

New Florida counties under FinCEN targeting

  • Hillsborough
  • Pasco
  • Pinellas
  • Manatee
  • Sarasota
  • Charlotte
  • Lee
  • Collier

 U.S. metros already under the FinCEN GTO order

  • Texas counties: Bexar, Tarrant, Dallas, Harris, Montgomery, Webb
  • Florida counties: Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach;
  • Boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island, Manhattan in New York City
  • California counties: San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara
  • Hawaii counties: Hawaii, Maui, Kauai, Honolulu or the City of Honolulu
  • Nevada County: Clark
  • Washington County: King
  • Massachusetts counties: Suffolk, Middlesex
  • Illinois County: Cook
  • Maryland counties: Montgomery, Anne Arundel, Prince George’s, Howard
  • Virginia counties: Arlington, Fairfax, or the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church or Fairfax
  • Connecticut County: Fairfield
  • The District of Columbia

A copy of the latest Geographic Targeting Order is posted online. FinCEN has also created a page of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the GTO program.

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