Bank Safe Deposit Boxes Can Prove Not to Be Too Safe a Place for Valuables

(Archived in: Related Miscellany)

I am not sure about other countries, but if you live in the USA, you do not want to keep anything of real value in a bank safe deposit box. I recently read an old post about the dangers on another blog, and it reminded me of all the reasons why this is a bad idea. Here are just a few of the reasons:
  • Contents of safe deposit boxes are not insured by FDIC
  • Contents not recorded / cannot reasonably be accounted for by the bank
  • Risk of theft or damage by fire, flood, or other natural disaster
  • Boxes can be sealed by court order
  • Automatically sealed upon the death of a spouse or co-account holder
  • Contents can be seized for judgment claims or asset investigations
  • Recent changes in Patriot Act and Homeland Security laws
While some would say this is nothing new or to be alarmed about, since local, state, and federal authorities have always had the power to seal safe deposit boxes and freeze bank accounts, I wonder why anyone would want to take this risk.

A bank safe deposit box is not a good way to protect anything of value. In fact, your valuables would probably be more secure in a fire-proof home safe, or even under your mattress, or buried in the back yard.

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