U.S. Expands Crackdown on Secret Real Estate Buyers
By: Anthony Ramamsumiran •
Secret Real Estate
The U.S Treasury Department created an initiative in January 2016 to clamp down on anonymous real estate purchases made by small shell companies. Now in August, the scheme does appear to be working for the Treasury Department.
Initially the scheme targeting high-end real estate in Manhattan and Miami, is now expanding the order to New York City, Florida, California and Texas.
The order will soon be in effect in New York City boroughs, San Diego County, Los Angeles County, three counties in the San Francisco area and two counties directly north of Miami (Broward and Palm Beach). The only county in Texas that would have the order enforced will be Bexas County.
As progress continues with this initiative it does only apply to non-financed purchases over a threshold which varies between markets, a good rule of thumb would be properties priced at the top ten percent of each market. An example of this is properties bought by shell companies for over $1 million in Florida would be tracked were properties bought in the California counties would have to be above the $2 million value.
The order from the Treasury has only got a lifespan for 180 days and goes in to effect on August 28th 2016.
According to FinCEN (the Treasury Departments financial crimes unit) the order, introduced on March 1st 2016 has been very effective claiming that they have stopped possible crimes like a $16 million withdrawal that seemed suspicious, a potential counterfeit check scheme and wire transfer bouncing around South America worth millions!
As the order come in effect at the end of August, we will see how successful it is in those particular counties.
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