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House Appropriations Bill Includes Provisions to Curb Real Estate Wire Fraud

Efforts to curb real estate wire fraud were adopted into the House Committee on Appropriations bills last week.

The House Committee on Appropriations is a committee under the U.S. House of Representatives that’s responsible for appropriating funding for most federal government functions. In the latest appropriation bill, efforts to curb real estate wire fraud were a key focus.

Real estate wire fraud often occurs through wire transfer scams in real estate closings. According to the National Credit Union Administration, real estate wire fraud is on the rise . Fraudsters hack into a title company or lender’s email server or computer system to search for real estate closings, and then email the buyer or financial institution with a bogus wire-transfer. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) 2019 Internet Crime Report showed that there were 11,677 victims with $221 million in losses from overall wire fraud.

According to the American Land Title Association, the organization worked with the House Committee on Appropriations to successfully push federal agencies such as the FBI, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to “produce reports on their current efforts to stop this type of wire fraud and for suggestions of new legislative authority to help them combat these crimes.” Additionally, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is required to “develop wire fraud education materials for consumers through the department’s housing counseling programs.”

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How This Impacts Mobility

Real estate transactions are a crucial component of the workforce mobility industry. The issue of wire fraud in real estate transactions continues to be an issue that requires action from the U.S.’s top financial crime enforcement institutions. The focus on provisions to curb wire fraud in the latest appropriations bills is a positive step that will help with the financial safety of real estate transactions if the bill passes Congress and is enacted into law. Should any member have questions regarding this issue, please reach out to Vice President, Member Engagement and Public Policy Rebecca Peters, rpeters@worldwideerc.org.

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