WASHINGTON, DC-The Real Estate Roundtable has written to the US Department of Treasury in an effort to urge the federal entity to take notice of the potential harm a particular facet of the USA Patriot Act can bring to the real estate industry. In the letter, RER shared its concerns on Section 352 of the act in response to the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Anti-Money Laundering Program Requirements for “Persons Involved in Real Estate Closings and Settlements.”

RER argues that a clause in the legislation–which was enacted after the September 2001 terror attacks to give the government the right to shut down financial opportunities for potential financers of terrorist organizations–would unduly burden legitimate commercial real estate transactions with overwhelming administrative record-keeping to accommodate the new law. “Roundtable asks that the Treasury Department consider the relatively small risk that commercial real estate transactions pose, as compared to the proposed burdens, when determining the scope of the final regulations, and to recognize that the settlement stage is not when significant investigative requirements should be imposed,” RER officials write in the letter. “We believe the proposal could have the unintended consequence of imposing an unfair level of regulatory burden on the commercial and multifamily real estate industry.”

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