Imagine working hard all your life to finally save up enough to purchase your first home or a coveted business all in cash. The freedom to act and operate without the restrictions of a mortgage can be enticing for entrepreneurs from all backgrounds.

But in particular, some immigrant groups prefer to borrow among the members of their own communities rather than rely on traditional banking systems when they need to finance a major purchase or experience a sudden shortfall of cash.

There is nothing wrong with using nontraditional methods of financing — but sometimes, it can come with a high price if asset forfeiture occurs.

Here’s how one scenario might play out. There are a lot of aggressive immigration policies in effect right now. There have been situations here in the United States where even legal citizens born right here in America were detained and faced deportation over simple paperwork errors.

Imagine getting stopped by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials while carrying a large amount of cash on your way to buy a building to open the restaurant you’ve always dreamed of owning. Even though your immigration papers may all be in order, law enforcement can allege that the sum of money on your person is the proceeds from illegal activities like drug or human trafficking.

They can seize your cash and other resources like vehicles and property. Then, the onus will be on you to prove that the source of your funds is a legal one. You may have to fight an expensive legal battle over a period of years to reclaim your money or property — if you ever can.

We realize the inherent unfairness of asset forfeiture and fight hard to allow our clients to keep or reclaim their hard-earned money and property.