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A few weeks ago I received what I thought was spam, junk, or some fishing expedition to secure personal financial information by an unknown party for fraudulent illegal use. The e-mail stated that due to the "inactivity" (SIX WEEKS) of my personal stock account with '', a reputable New Jersey firm, my account was in the process of being seized by the federal government. The correspondence also continued that I had to "update" certain financial data. Unfortunately, I ignored this e-mail. Fortunately, I did not delete it.

fighting death

A week later when I could not access my stock account, I went back to the e-mail warning. I noticed the return e-mail address was in fact legitimate. When I accessed my account through their correspondence, new financial information was not requested, just a confirmation of what '' already had on file. But the perplexing warning was serious "Any six-week period of INACTIVITY" will result in the federal government declaring my account "inactive" and as such said account would be "seized." I am grateful '' had the decency to contact me before this pirate act was completed.

This was a shocking event that I placed on the "back burner" until we opened a checking account for the non-profit organization Nina and I volunteer for. Banking officers told us to "make sure" that "some activity" transpired on the account within "every six-week period" or the account would "be seized." This was a verbal warning and nothing was obtained in writing about the authority for a bank, or the federal government, to legally seize a private or organizational account because of a mere six week "inactivity period." Additionally we were informed that posted interest payments did "not constitute" an "authorized activity."

Since then, I have done some investigating and have discovered a very disturbing pattern. Our friend Johnny Mae Anderson (88) of Montgomery had her banking accounts seized because she has optioned to travel the world while she still has her health. Routinely, she is out of the country between periods of two to five months.

There are other categories of potential victims as well: military personnel on overseas assignment; Americans working abroad; workers on extended leave or vacation; elderly people who simply forget they have an account; undocumented or migrant workers who return to their home countries; long term hospital or mental patients-all are now ripe to have the banks and government legally rob them without any notice or forewarning as the bank did to my granddaughter, Danielle.



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Danielle had a college savings account my son and his wife deposit into once a year. Although they get monthly bank statements, today they discovered her account had been seized by the banking industry and federal government for "inactivity" even though her account card contains a valid address, phone number, and e-mail address; of which, none of those means were utilized as a vehicle to warn anyone that her college funds were being seized.

"A dormant bank account is an account that has had no withdrawal or deposit activity (interest does not count) in a specified period of time..." This used to be a year, then six months, now it is 6 weeks. Sections 39(I),68,69,70 of the Financial Institution Act of 1999 states "inactivity" of an account will be a period "not exceeding 6 months" after which seized accounts fall under the control of the bank allowing them to received special fees to manage such pirated accounts. A formal application must accompany reactivation with the approval of two senior bank officers and the payment of all associated fees.

This can only be considered Washington's new war on America's elderly. As we age, vulture capitalist are at the ready to make our "golden years" extremely profitable for them. Just look at the number of reverse mortgage advertisements on television. The possibility of large amounts of instant cash sounds like a good deal; but, is it worth selling out your largest investment in hopes of longevity that may or may not happen? Those seniors wanting to get into a nursing home or assisted living facility must be ready to sign over their bank accounts and title to their home-forget leaving anything to children or relatives! Recently in Georgia an elderly woman died in a nursing home. Her surviving relatives were informed she had racked up $50,000 in unpaid nursing home services. After her property was sold for $250,000, the heirs expected some give back; but, to date, that hasn't happened. Sadly, it is my belief that this will become the new norm and not the exception.

There is a simple solution to all this. Nations with socialized medicine (Canada, France, Sweden, Great Britain, the United Kingdom, don't burden their residents with potentially disastrous medical, assisted living, or nursing home bills as they have a tax structure that provides for all. The United States also has a socialized medical system but it is only available to veterans, like myself, and members of government who currently believe that only a certain segment of society should be allowed the fruits of a system that is great for them but somehow unfit for everyone else. As we continue to age and fall predatory victim to the vulture capitalist agencies in place to 'serve' us, I strongly suspect the attitude of the nation will begin to radically change.

jim rhodes

As for stealing bank accounts for "inactivity," that has to be a new moral low-even for Washington. Apparently robbing unsuspecting elderly is not enough, now the banking industry wants children's college funds as well?

James Rhodes

Sunday, 25 August 2013