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News Link • Government Debt & Financing

"Untouched" Private Funds Being Seized By Government

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The government of Australia has seized more than 360 million dollars sitting in bank accounts and safe deposit boxes around the nation. In the United States, governments in all 50 states are also looking at changing laws, making it easier for them to seize private funds. If accounts or safe deposit boxes are not used for a certain period of time, any funds or property contained in them becomes property of the state government. In most states, that waiting period used to be seven years. Most states don't check to see if the holder is still alive, or if they have other active accounts at the bank before seizing funds. Even if a customer has an active checking account at a financial institution, not touching a safe-deposit box for a time can trigger a seizure. This lack of diligence in identifying owners appears to be a conscious decision by agencies to seize more funds. A lawyer for the California Bureau of Unclaimed Property wrote in an internal memo, "[Searching for rightfu

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