Patriot Act: Certain Ramifications for Living In Taiwan

I have everything done at home by my mother. She stamps my checks (which she orders through printing companies) to pay off my bills and since I don’t use my credit card except online, she let me know any changes in my card information.

Is it possible for your bank to transfer your account to their offshore subsidiary ?

This sounds like a ridiculous situation. Isn’t “No Taxation Without Representation” what the War of Independence was all about ? How can they require US citizens overseas to pay tax and then strip them of their main means of participating in the US economy: their banking facilities ?

The U.S. Patriot Act (USAPA) was enacted in 2001 in response to the 9/11 terrorist acts. The intent is for banks, credit unions and other financial institutions to verify the identity of all people who do business with them. The underlying theory is that terrorist groups may use the banking industry to funnel money to commit crimes. No provisions in the act specifically prohibits U.S. banks from issuing credit cards to people who reside overseas. See USAPA As long as the person’s identity is verified, the bank may issue the credit card.
I suspect that Chase is erroring on the side of caution. The penalty for the violation of the USAPA is stiff. I believe, from my reading of the Act, that a violation of the USAPA is sufficient ground to pierce the corporate veil.
In any event, writing to your congressman/ senator won’t do too much good, unless you are urging them to repeal the act and the political climate is propitious. Neither the legislature nor the judiciary will have any say over a corporation’s policy when it is not violating the law. I guess your choice right now is limited to the following: (1) Make the argument that the bank, by not issuing your credit card on the sole basis that you are residing overseas, is in violation of the constitutional right to travel (which I suspect that you can only obtain favorable ruling on appeal to the 9th cir.) or (2) Change your bank to another that is less cautious than Chase (e.g. Providian; AT&T Universal; Discovery(which unfortunately has not yet gain popularity in taiwan))

Any chance the trouble with Chase is related to your performance as a credit card holder? Maybe some missed or late payments?

Or maybe racking up too much credit card debt from vendors such as “Carnal Pleasures Inc.” etc :smiley:

Thank god I’m not American. You guys have some problems. Maybe next year the new Prez will rescind the Patriot Act and everything will be cool again.

Wow, she stamps your checks? My folks sign mine straight out. I think that if I ever signed one myself, the bank would reject it. :smiley:

Why not bank offshore ? You get a US dollar denominated chequebook and credit card. The only requirement HSBC has is that you keep US$5,000 in the account. It’s a Jersey account.

Hmmm, this is an idea…I cancelled my U.S. accounts because of similar problems (in fact, it was a nightmare getting them to send me a draft for balance left in the account…they cited thirteen-thousand clauses of the Patriot Act as justification). After 2 months, I finally got the check, and waited 30 more days for it to deposit here…what a nightmare, it will be a cold day in hell when I have another account with an American bank :imp: .

Wow, she stamps your checks? My folks sign mine straight out. I think that if I ever signed one myself, the bank would reject it. :smiley:[/quote]

Well, I hope my signature hasn’t changed any in the last six years. That’s when she had it made. At that time she was working for an office supply store so it was cheaper for her to have it done.

It’s my understanding that certain sections of the Patriot Act are due to expire soon (they were time-limited I’m guessing). I’m wondering if any of these relate to these banking issues …

Back in the days when I was working in banking (before the Patriot Act came along), the only thing that would have caught the government’s attention were deposits in excess of US$10,000, which we were legally obligated to report, and of course counterfeit money … which I got to report to the Secret Service one time … it was pretty cool. :smiley: