Write Your Senator! - Posted by Bert G

Posted by Beverly McCray on March 05, 2000 at 13:55:35:

Bert.Thanks…It would be just my darn luck to acquire my first investment and have the Gov take it…I would be quite heated…

Write Your Senator! - Posted by Bert G

Posted by Bert G on March 05, 2000 at 13:39:16:

Those of you who get Mr.Landlord’s online newsletter will have seen this by now, but there is a bill in congress that would help all RE investors. The House version has passed, but the Senate version (s.1931) is getting bogged down. If it doesn’t pass this session they have to start all over again.
Basically, current law allows the government to confiscate property it beleives is used in illegal (usually drug) activities. They don’t need proof or a conviction, or even an arrest. Even if the property owner is completely innocent and uninvolved. So, if the DEA thinks maybe one of your tenants is dealing drugs, they can take your house.

The new bill would require proof that the property was actually ued in the commission of a crime, and would offer more protection to innocent landlords.

Below is a copy of the e-mail I sent to my senators. Please change it to fit your circumstance and write to yours. You can find your senator via http://www.senate.gov

Senator Dorgan:

I am writing to encourage your support for Senate bill # 1931, which deals with property forfiture laws.

The current law allows the government to confiscate property without any trial or conviction, even if the property owner is completely innocent. This needs to be changed!

As an owner of rental proerties in Grand Forks, I strive to find the best residents possible. However, their private actions are beyond my control, and I do not relish the possibility of losing my hard-earned property because of the alleged actions of a tenant.

Thank you for your time.
Bert Garwod

The Real Story… - Posted by Glenn-PA

Posted by Glenn-PA on March 06, 2000 at 09:17:09:

The above post is incorrect. The government can seize a property and initiate forfeiture proceedings based upon a showing of probable cause that the subject property is being used to facilitate illegal activities (normally drug trafficking) OR that the property was purchased with the proceeds of illegal activities (again, normally drug proceeds). A conviction is not always necessary but an abundance of EVIDENCE is the norm. There is an “Innocent Third Party” exception which, in essence, does exactly what it says - namely, protects innocent third parties from such actions (a landlord). There are several layers of administrative and judicial reviews. The law is a good law and it works. Most drug traffickers cry and moan more about the assets they’ll lose than the time they face in prison.

Use the disclaimer - Posted by PBoone

Posted by PBoone on March 05, 2000 at 16:39:26:

"My apologies senator if this misinformation comes off as half brained but if there is a bill now in senate please know I am against the passage"
In Oregon no such law is in effect

zero tolerance in Texas - Posted by RR Smith

Posted by RR Smith on March 05, 2000 at 15:25:43:

This is already a state law in Texas, and they were enforcing it in rare
cases in the 1990’s (in Austin).

Re: Write Your Senator! - Posted by MilNC

Posted by MilNC on March 05, 2000 at 14:58:16:

Thanks you for post.

More info on property seizure is in March 2000
Reader’s Digest, at


Some information at
I have no details of this case, but it WAS frightening
to read.