Recent Results: Buffalo, New York

Recently, after US Customs seized over $13,000.00 from one of our clients, our attorneys succeeded in recovering these funds after five months of hard work. These funds were seized at a Border Port of Entry in Buffalo, New York when a client attempted to enter the United States from Niagara, Canada, with a combination of money and traveler’s checks. While the funds were legitimate, the client was unaware of the detailed reporting requirements to bring such amounts of money into the country.

Unfortunately, Customs policies are confusing and such mistakes are quite common. So what types of currency CAN you bring in or out of the country without declaring it? To start, traveler’s checks, foreign currency equaling the amount of $10,000.00 USD, and endorsed checks all count—they must be reported. 

The most interesting exception is that for unendorsed checks. This means if you have not signed the back of the check, you can evade reporting requirements. The list also contains some noteworthy terms that a common traveler might not be familiar with. For example, wondering what a “bill of ladling” is? This is not a common legal term, but it means “a document signed by a carrier (transporter of goods) or the carrier’s representative and issued to a consignor (the shipper of goods) that evidences the receipt of goods for shipment to a designation and person.” Becoming familiar with this list and its terms is important—it’s the best way to ensure that you’ll cross the border with all of your money in tact!

If Customs does seize your money, time is of the essence and it is important to immediately file a petition for relief. The longer the money remains in the custody of U.S. Customs, the more likely that the assets will be forfeited to the government. Customs seizure law is complex, and it is important to have experienced legal representation throughout the process. Most of the currency that is seized will ultimately be forfeited to the government, primarily due to a lack of aggressive recovery efforts. This is an area of the law where an attorney with expertise can prove extremely valuable.

If this has happened to you, a friend, or a loved one, legal representation is crucial. The recovery process is often difficult and complicated, so you need somebody who knows the complicated rules and policies of US Customs law who can fight diligently and effectively for the return of your money.

Customs law is dense, complex, and extremely time-sensitive. Most claims for returned funds cannot be brought more than 30 days after the money has been seized, and the longer the money stays in the custody of Customs, the more likely it will be ultimately forfeited to the US Government, which takes in millions of seized customs dollars annually.

Don’t let this happen to you. Our experienced customs seizure lawyers are ready to help you recover your money while there’s still time. We practice throughout the US– call us now! We’re available by phone at 877-406-6906, or you can  contact us  with a  private message.