From the February 2002 Idaho Observer:

Schiff suit alters banking policy

A word to the wise: Read the fine print on your “Depositor's Agreement”

LAS VEGAS -- Irwin Schiff's recent Clark County lawsuit against the Bank of America has caused that Bank to change its “Depositor's Agreement.” It now reads that if the bank mistakenly gives your money to someone else, you won't hold it liable.

The new provision can be found on page 2, paragraph 5 of the bank's new “Depositor's Agreement.”

“Unlike most other banks,” said Schiff, “the Bank of America's 'Depositor's Agreement' allows it to turn over your money to 'another person or entity' (who) makes a claim against the funds in your account -- even without a court order,” said Schiff.

“Most people are unaware of these agreements, including myself, when I opened several accounts in that bank a while ago. The bank subsequently turned over $8,000 of my money to the IRS, even though they were under no legal obligation to do so. So I sued the Bank for breach of contract and am now seeking $83,000 in damages. Despite this provision in its Agreement, I was still able to claim an abuse of desecration and breach of contract,” Schiff explained.

Last January 3, Nevada State Judge Earl refused to grant Bank of America's Motion to Dismiss Schiff's lawsuit (The Idaho Observer, January, 2002).

Schiff claims that the bank had no legal obligation to honor a Notice of Levy sent to it by IRS Revenue Officer James F. Gritis.

“A month after I filed my lawsuit,” said Schiff, “the bank substantially rewrote its agreement which now includes an outrageous provision that depositors won't hold the bank liable even if it wrongfully turns over their money to someone else. How many people with money in that bank know that they have agreed to such a ridiculous proposition? And the Bank even added a provision that by leaving your money in that bank you have agreed to these new provisions even if you are unaware of them.”

Trying to insulate itself against a rash of lawsuits which would result from Schiff's successful lawsuit against the Bank of America, the Bank's new agreement also contains provisions that if you do sue the bank, you waive your right to a jury trial and also agree not to join any class action or other lawsuit against the bank.

Schiff claimed that he doesn't believe that these new provisions will hold up, and anyone who has had funds turned over to the IRS by that bank in the last two years could join his lawsuit against the bank. “In addition,” said Schiff, who has written numerous books exposing the federal government's illegal enforcement of the income tax, “anybody can sue any third party who has turned over your funds to the IRS within the last two years, on the same basis as I have sued the bank of America.”

For more information on how to sue banks and other third parties who have turned your money over to the IRS, call Irwin Schiff, who maintains offices at 444 E. Sahara, in Las Vegas, Nevada, at (702) 385-6920.

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