The Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") of the United State Department of the Treasury administers and enforces United States economic and trade sanctions against designated persons and entities.
OFAC publishes a list of individuals, companies, groups, and entities designated under various programs. These persons and entities are referred to as "Specially Designated Nationals" or "SDNs." The SDN List resulted from Executive Order 13224, dated September 23, 2001. The assets of SDNs are blocked and United States persons and entities are prohibited from dealing with them. We have previously advised you about the SDN List. You can check the SDN List at OFAC's website (as described below), at the ALTA website (if you are a member), or on Virtual Underwriter.
In addition to the SDN List, OFAC now also publishes a list of foreign persons and entities designated as "Foreign Sanctions Evaders" or "FSEs." The FSE List resulted from Executive Order 13608, dated May 1, 2012. Until relatively recently, the FSE List included only a single entity. However, earlier this year, OFAC added additional names to the FSE List.
The FSE List is not the same as the SDN List. However, names on the FSE List may also appear on the SDN List. Similar to the requirements for the SDN List, United States persons and entities are prohibited from engaging in a transaction with a person or entity on the FSE List unless specifically exempted or otherwise authorized by OFAC. Like the SDN List, the FSE List is available on the OFAC website.
You can search both the SDN List and the FSE List on the OFAC website by clicking here. You can also simultaneously search the SDN List and the FSE List, as well as Stewart Special Alerts by clicking here.
The method for clearing a possible match with a name on the FSE List or the SDN List is the same. Click here for a link to OFAC's full list of Frequently Asked Questions about SDNs and FSEs, including how to determine if you have a valid OFAC match (FAQ 5), and what to do if you have a match (FAQ 23).
Please note: if a transaction involves Bank of America and if you feel that it is necessary to contact OFAC regarding a potential match to the SDN List or the FSE List, Bank of America requests that you contact them beforehand at firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate the contact with OFAC. This applies only to their borrower or guarantor and not to a seller who is not involved in the loan transaction. Federal law must be complied with in any case.
If you have any questions relating to this or other bulletins, please contact a Stewart Title Guaranty Company underwriter.
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