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How Safe is your Safety Deposit Box?

Updated on August 24, 2014


I don't think it's any secret that I'm not exactly a fan of banks in general, nor do I trust the government. Having said that I think you might not be surprised to know that the items in your safety deposit box are not very secure at all. Read your safety deposit box contract with the bank. The bank can confiscate the contents of your safety deposit box for a myriad of reasons including a bank holiday, a subpoena, a bank-run, a writ of process by a court or other authority (hmmm what authority could that be?).

Many people are under the assumption that safety deposit boxes are insured by the FDIC but they are NOT! If you store your valuables in your home safe and they are stolen at least they will be covered by your home insurance policy (even with a home insurance policy you may have to have additional insurance for high value items), if your bank fails and closes up shop there is a very good chance that you will never see your valuables again!

Did you know that Homeland Security can confiscate your assets if they suspect suspicious activity on your part? The same is true for the I.R.S. if they are searching for assets. The bank can even confiscate your safety deposit box if they think or declare that it has been abandoned. There are known cases of people losing their safety deposit box contents because they hadn't visited it in a little over a year!

Furthermore, many people have had items stolen from their safe deposit boxes with no recourse whatsoever, once again read your contract, you will see that the bank is not liable for anything!

Moreover, gold was confiscated in the 1930s if you keep your precious metals in a safety deposit box then you risk the confiscation of those items. As far as I'm concerned safety deposit boxes should only be used for wills, documents and items like that, however, having said that, a home safe would probably be safer than a safety deposit box for those items as well. What will you do if the bank goes under or you need your valuables in a crisis and the bank is closed?

Do You Think Safety Deposit Boxes are Safe?

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I think it is a much safer idea to keep your metals hidden near you. There are many ways to hide metals successfully. Of course you can always put them in a home safe but some home safes can be expensive and they aren't exactly hidden from view; if you'd rather go outside the box here are a few ideas:

Put them in a plastic bag, then inside a meatloaf, then in the freezer.

Put them inside a curtain rod.

Put them in the bottom of a fake or real plant with a copper vase.

Tape them to the bottom of a silverware drawer.

You must assume that a thief would have a metal detector in order to find your coins. The best place to hide metals would be in other metals...that's why putting them in the bottom of a fake plant with a copper vase would cause a would be thief to think that the copper vase is what set off the metal detector. The same goes for a silverware drawer. Be creative, one person suggested putting the coins in a zip-lock bag and then in another zip-lock bag and then putting them in a half used can of paint. The can would set off the metal detector and most thieves would not think to dip their hands in the paint. There are also all kinds of places to hide valuables dressed up as everyday objects. I have included a few on this hub.

Considering the history of the federal government, our current precarious economic state and the obvious loopholes in the safety deposit box contract, why would you dare keep any of your valuables in that box in a bank?

Finally, mums the word! The best way to safeguard your wealth is to keep your mouth shut about having it!


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