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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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Can the State or Federal Government seize a property, over

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Can the State or Federal Government seize a property, over the interests of the bank, if there is criminal activity being planned, operated or harboring wanted criminals?
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

Yes, the government CAN seize the property that has a mortgage as long as there is equity in the property, BUT the problem is that they seize it subject to the mortgage and whoever buys the property will take the property subject to that mortgage. It is for this reason the government generally will not seize any property unless there is at least 20%-33% equity in the property. The seizure of the property does not extinguish the mortgage.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
What if there is no equity or not enough; but there still is criminal activity and the property is being used for that purpose? Does the bank seize it?
If there is no equity, the government can still place a lien on the property, but they will not seize it generally. The bank, if your mortgage has a clause about use for illegal purposes could foreclose on the property and take it based on your violation of the terms of the mortgage.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
But if the Government sees the property as a criminal asset; they will seize it then sell it to the public. I see Government agencies selling, cars, boats, homes etc. as a result of these busts.
Thank you for your response.

Yes they do seize these assets, but not when there is no equity in them. You see assets being sold because they had sufficient equity in them to be sold as the government seizure cannot release the lien on the property.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
So in regards XXXXX XXXXX original property in question; if there is not sufficient equity relating to the criminals using the property, because the bank owns the majority, then it can't be seized for resell. It would be up to the bank to make a decision based on its rules.
That is correct, you have understood what I have stated to you and the process.
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