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How Safe is Your Safety Deposit Box?
Old 01-08-2009, 11:22 PM   #1
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How Safe is Your Safety Deposit Box?

Ladies and gentlemen.............your government in action.


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Old 01-08-2009, 11:26 PM   #2
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What does this have to do with FIRE? Seems highly political to me..
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Old 01-09-2009, 11:45 AM   #3
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.....be back later....gotta run to the bank.........
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Old 01-09-2009, 11:50 AM   #4
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Interesting story. I haven't gotten a safe deposit box yet, but have been considering it.

I don't see anything political about the story; it's just a lesson in one thing to look out for if you have a safe deposit box.
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Old 01-09-2009, 11:54 AM   #5
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The underlying problem is that no one can decide whether they are safe deposit boxes or safety deposit boxes. Officials get frustrated with this, and deal with it by shredding the contents of the boxes.
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Old 01-09-2009, 11:59 AM   #6
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Interesting story. I haven't gotten a safe deposit box yet, but have been considering it.

I don't see anything political about the story; it's just a lesson in one thing to look out for if you have a safe deposit box.
The title wasn't the same. It got changed
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Old 01-09-2009, 02:59 PM   #7
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Pretty disgusting, but I'm afraid typical of the desperation for money by the nearly bankrupt California state government. Even more disgusting was the fact that Bank of America apparently didn't make any attempt to contact Carla Ruff, even though they had her name and address on file, and she had paid her box rental. Unfortunately, our government has annointed BAC as a bank that can't be allowed to fail, while it pushed what was probably the most consumer-friendly bank, Wachovia, into a merger
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Old 01-09-2009, 05:47 PM   #8
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Maybe I'm dense or hard of hearing, but I never heard exactly on what basis the box was deemed to be "unclaimed". Did she fail to pay the rent for 3 years? If so, did she receive a bill during those 3 years and just not pay it?

When I switched states, I did have some problems with getting certain things forwarded to me in the mail. In fact, the more important, the less likely it was to be forwarded. For instance, my accountant asked me why I hadn't submitted a 1099 for a bank account that I had used for several years. Turns out the bank "lost" me. No problem getting another 1099, but this is one time I'm glad I used an accountant for my taxes. Frankly, I forgot about this account (which I had closed out, but did receive some interest during the tax year).

So, I guess I can see how easy it is to "lose" someone, but I know for a fact it's also easy to "find" someone if you really want to. The banks should do it, even if the CA tax folks won't. Maybe since it cost them a settlement, they will be more inclined to find folks in the future - but I wouldn't count on it!
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Old 01-09-2009, 07:30 PM   #9
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Maybe I'm dense or hard of hearing, but I never heard exactly on what basis the box was deemed to be "unclaimed". Did she fail to pay the rent for 3 years? If so, did she receive a bill during those 3 years and just not pay it?
They didn't say, even though that is perhaps the most important part of the story.

They did say "Carla's name was on documents inside the box." I'm guessing that due to some slip up, the name of the renter of the box was lost.

I'll bet that the law says that the bank/government is not allowed to look at the documents inside the box. Otherwise, banks could look at your secret documents and claim "Hey, we were just trying to figure out whose box it was."
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Old 01-09-2009, 07:40 PM   #10
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I want to find out more about the auctions. $1800 for a set of pearls valued at $80,000 - a man could make some money flipping stuff in that system! Unless, BAC had some kind of scam working there. Perish the thought.
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Old 01-09-2009, 08:22 PM   #11
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That's why I make sure, in the bank I have my SDB, that everyone knows my name and can identify me when I enter the bank. Even so, this type of story chills my bones.
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Old 01-09-2009, 11:04 PM   #12
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I didn't watch the video yet, but I'll relate an SDB story of mine: I had a box at a bank branch that I could practically see from my house. I also had checking/savings there. OldBank gets bought by NewBank and all my account stuff gets switched automatically to NewBank. And i putter along fine for more than a year, not really noticing that I didn't get either an OldBank or a NewBank bill for the yearly SDB fee. Then because by chance I actually had to physically GO into OldNewBank for something to do w/ a biz. account AND NewBank had retained the OldBank manager, who visually recognized me, I found out that "hey, we are going to drill your box in a couple of days..".. since it's no longer maintained by OldBank but by NewBank.

No notice ever from OldBank or NewBank. NewBank could not have been officially "bothered" to tell me. Just seems like a way to dip into people's assets from time to time.
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Old 01-10-2009, 12:23 AM   #13
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A lot of "crime" $ goes into SDB's - that's why the State has such an avid interest in them - the folks like the lady in the video are just collateral casualties of the bureaucracy (not saying that's "right", of course)

Savvy LE Agents always have an eye out for SDB keys or paperwork when executing a search warrant. It's usually a cinch to get warrant for the SDB too since they already had PC for the suspect's residence or business & search warrants routinely include a reference to "currency or monetary instruments that may be the fruits of criminal activity" in their language nowadays.

The $ are then often seized administratively where only a "preponderance of the evidence" standard is required to sustain the seizure & not a "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard as in a criminal case. It's also more difficult to have evidence/information suppressed in an administrative/civil seizure.
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Old 01-10-2009, 07:08 AM   #14
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California is unbelievably greedy. When I moved there some years ago they taxed both my cars because they didn’t have California approved emission controls. Never mind that they both were able to pass the smog check. Eventually the California Supreme Court made the State give everyone back their money with interest. It amounted to taxing interstate commerce which is illegal under the Constitution.

California also used to collect income tax from people who retired in the State and then left. They were made to stop this practice since a State has no power to tax outside their borders. Imagine if you had to pay State income tax in every State you had lived in.

Similar to this California attempted to collect property tax on satellites in orbit! They were made by companies in California. What a great way to get aerospace business into your state!
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Old 01-10-2009, 10:52 AM   #15
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The $ are then often seized administratively where only a "preponderance of the evidence" standard is required to sustain the seizure & not a "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard as in a criminal case. It's also more difficult to have evidence/information suppressed in an administrative/civil seizure.

I have seen this on some of the TV shows... they take your money or cars, boats, planes etc. and 'say' it was the gain of illegal activity.... but don't have to prove any illegal activity...

I think this is a BAD way to go... just like the SDB, it leads to abuse to people who have nothing to do with illegal activity...


As an example... if you go buy a plane ticket with cash... and are returning on the same day or next day.. I have seen where some 'police' types will come and question you... and if you have lots of money will take it... the one example I remember happened many years ago...
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Old 01-10-2009, 02:26 PM   #16
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A lot of "crime" $ goes into SDB's - that's why the State has such an avid interest in them - the folks like the lady in the video are just collateral casualties of the bureaucracy (not saying that's "right", of course
Tex, weren't you involved in some sort of police work, or am I mistaken?

I'm a great fan of the American Constitution. Not many policemen are.
This activity is a disgrace to the values the USA was founded on.

More to the point. The reason this was presented as an ERF topic is that I have a feeling more than a few readers of this blog have safety deposit boxes with items the could ill afford to lose.
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Old 01-10-2009, 02:29 PM   #17
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Tex, weren't you involved in some sort of police work, or am I mistaken?

I'm a great fan of the American Constitution. Not many policemen are.
This activity is a disgrace to the values the USA was founded on.
And your supporting documentation re "not many policemen being great fans of the American Constitution" is....?
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Old 01-10-2009, 02:51 PM   #18
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And your supporting documentation re "not many policemen being great fans of the American Constitution" is....?
I think most of them are. Their first and foremost duty is to uphold the law. Sometimes the law may seem unconstitutional, and sometimes it may be, but the officer has to uphold and enforce the laws passed by the appropriate legislative body.

If the law is unjust, it is up to us to elect legislators who will repeal unconstitutional laws, and insist on court systems that will overturn unconstitutional laws. It's not the police officer's job, IMO, to determine the constitutionality of the laws they enforce; they are neither legislators nor judges nor juries. They do need to follow constitutional guidelines in investigations and making arrests (search warrants, Miranda, et cetera), but that's a separate issue than whether they enforce Constitutionally questionable laws passed by legislators.
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Old 01-10-2009, 03:13 PM   #19
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And your supporting documentation re "not many policemen being great fans of the American Constitution" is....?
"Law and Order" of course!
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Old 01-10-2009, 04:17 PM   #20
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"Law and Order" taught me everything I needed to know in life! [IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/MICHEL%7E1/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot.jpg[/IMG]
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