How do I get my money back from a currency seizure?

When you travel into or outside of the U.S., it is against U.S law to carry more than $10,000 on your person without properly declaring it to U.S. Customs. . As such, if you do not file a report for a monetary amount of more than $10,000, then U.S. Customs agents can seize the additional money. If your money has been seized, the attorneys at The Law Offices of Paula M. Connelly can help. Here’s what you need to know:

The Seizure Process

After U.S. Customs official seize money (or any other property or asset), the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer who seized the money has 24 hours to forward the case to the appropriate supervisor for approval. From there, the case will then be referred to the FP&F office, or Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures office. You will then be contacted by the FP&F with a Notice of Seizure.

Retrieving Seized Currency

After receiving your official Notice of Seizure, you then have a 30-day window in which to reply to the notice. If you do not respond within the 30-day window, your right to petition to receive your currency back may be forfeited. The petition that you must file is called a Petition for Remission or Mitigation. Essentially, this petition allows the petitioner the opportunity to explain why he or she should have the funds returned to them.

Proving Legality of Money

Of course, in order for your petition to be approved and your money to be returned, you will need to substantiate to Customs satisfaction that you money came from a legitimate and legal source. To do this, you will need to collect: transaction statements, tax statements, bank statements, paystubs, or any other documentation of the money’s source.

In some cases, you may have to forfeit the money if you cannot prove that it came from a legal means. And in other cases, you may face criminal charges if it is believed that the money was acquired illegally, or there was illegal intent.

Contact a U.S. Customs Lawyer in Boston

It is extremely ill advised to contact Customs and Border Protection sans legal counsel; even a small error could cost you your money, and bring forth questions of potential criminal activity. Instead of taking on U.S. CBP on your own, make sure you contact the Boston attorneys at The Law Offices of Paula M. Connelly first. Our firm has 20 years of experience in customs law, and can help you to recover seized money. To learn more about how we can help you, call us today at 781-897-1771.


The information contained in this Website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.

Full Legal Disclaimer

Our Address

Law Offices of Paula M. Connelly
100 Trade Center
Suite 660
Woburn, MA 01801