published 1/11/2017 (c) Brenda Grantland, Esq.
101,813 words. 241 pages in the full sized pdf edition. Also available in epub and mobi. $14.99
Your House Is Under Arrest, was my first book, published in 1993, by Society for the Preservation of Wealth. The publisher went out of business at some point and the book was out of print for many years. My friend Mike Ketcher purchased the business that owned the copyrights, and when I contacted him this year telling him I wanted to write a revised and expanded second edition, he was all for it. He told me I could use anything from the first edition. Thank you Mike for your support! I did use a number of the stories from the first edition, but fleshed them out with later developments and 23 years worth of new case stories.
Back in 1993, federal forfeiture procedure had fewer Due Process protections and more obstacles for forfeiture victims (“claimants”) trying to defend their property. The government had longer deadlines for taking action – or no deadlines at all – while claimants had impossibly short deadlines for taking action. Victims even had to pay a cost bond of $10% of the value of the property in order to have any right to challenge the forfeiture in court. Many forfeiture victims lost all of their rights to contest the forfeiture of their property because they failed to jump through the hoops properly and in time.
After 8 years of lobbying (beginning before I wrote the first edition), FEAR and its allies succeeded in getting its forfeiture reform bill – CAFRA – passed. It took effect in 2000 and many forfeiture reformers thought we had won the war and could go home and rest easy. Those people were wrong.
CAFRA changed civil forfeiture procedures eliminating the cost bond, changing the burden of proof, and imposing deadlines on the government, and in many ways made the system fairer to victims, but it left gaping holes in the protection. Now 16 years after CAFRA took effect, the system is still a breeding ground for corruption and inequitable treatment. There are new abuses now that we never dreamed of before. Investors who invest their retirement nest eggs in profit-making properties and businesses may see it seized by the forfeiture squads if they are not careful.
In this second edition I update the laws to include CAFRA’s changes, and include many new horror stories and interesting cases since the first edition was published. I also talk about forfeiture threats that didn’t exist in 1993.
This is not a scholarly legal treatise made for lawyers or a pro se victim self-help book but a victim story driven exploration of asset forfeiture in the past 20 years. It describes all the different kinds of activities that can trigger forfeiture of your assets, even if you were not involved in any crime. This is a book of advice for investors and property owners to help them protect themselves against forfeiture. Take a peek inside the book excerpt for more information.