Nov 05

How Is This Possible?

Posted by Kristjan Velbri | Posted in General | Posted on 05-11-2009

safe-deposit-boxI stumbled across a pretty disturbing news piece today which talks about how states auction off ‘unclaimed’ property in safety deposit boxes. This is not from some ‘alternative news media channel’ or from Alex Jones. One San Fransisco resident discovered the content of her safety deposit box had been auctioned off by the state to balance their budget. Carla Ruff was a loyal customer and had always paid her safety deposit box fee. The state took the property claiming it was ‘unclaimed property’ and therefore the property of the state. The state should have notified the owner of an impending confiscation and it could’ve done it – inside the box were papers with the owner’s name and address. The state did no such thing.

“Her great-grandmother’s precious natural pearls and other jewelry had been auctioned off. They were sold for just $1,800, even though they were appraised for $82,500.

These things were things that she gave to me,” Ruff said. “I valued them because I loved her.”"

The article goes on to cite numerous cases where states have taken the liberty to sell or auction off people’s assets without even notifying the real owners. One state (guess which one?) has been particularly keen on seizing its citizens’ assets. If fact, it has been so good at it that it now owes $5.1 billion dollars for all the things it has confiscated.

“California law used to say property was unclaimed if the rightful owner had had no contact with the business for 15 years. But during various state budget crises, the waiting period was reduced to seven years, and then five, and then three. Legislators even tried for one year. Why? Because the state wanted to use that free money.”

This is the kind of stuff that usually happens in third world countries or places that don’t have an established code of law. The fact that this is happening in America is a big disappointment.

ABC News :How Safe Is Your Safe-Deposit Box?
by Elisabeth Leamy

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