The “Patriot Search”

The "Patriot Search" By Patrick Yu{1:48 minutes to read} In my last blog, I discussed the 6 myths about title insurance. In this blog, we go a little deeper into the subject of title insurance and a problem that can hold up a transaction.

When ordering title insurance, you may have heard the term “Patriot Search.” Title insurance agents are required to do a search to make sure than no party to the transaction (for example, buyer, seller, mortgagor, mortgagee) is on a list of Specially Designated Nationals (“SDN”) or list of Foreign Sanctions Evaders (“FSE”) created by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), an agency of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

White House Executive Order 13224 blocks property transactions among states, organizations and individuals on that SDN list. The OFAC enforces trade and economic sanctions against certain foreign states, organizations and individuals based on U.S. foreign policy and national security interests. The OFAC considers the issuance of a title insurance policy in which the insured is on the SDN or FSE list a “prohibited transaction.”

The OFAC provides guidance on its website in the event that a participant to the transaction is on the SDN or FSE list. Please see OFAC FAQs: Sanctions Compliance.

The OFAC hotline telephone number is 1-800-540-6322.

If you need further assistance determining if one of the parties in your group is on an OFAC list, please feel free to give me a call.

The Yu Law Firm, P.C.
A Professional Corporation
New York, New York 10016
Telephone: (212) 889-1506

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