Following Swisspinoy’s inspiration from his letter writing to HUD and VA on inability to get a mortgage, I also looked at a number of ways to creatively complain, get the message across, or otherwise be a pain in the neck to those powers that be in Washington. I too face the dreaded mortgage and banking issues in Switzerland. Thus I would like to share the following, with the hope that as many Brockers as possible also find them useful and start flooding their inboxes and filling out complaint forms.
In addition to the HUD antidiscrimination statutes on mortgage lending per Swisspinoy, there is indeed a number of other Washington agencies concerned with discrimination and fair treatment, etc..
- The Consumer Product Protection Bureau, http://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/, allows you to file a complaint on numerous banking topics, ie. Credit cards, mortgages, bank account, etc.. I would say it is fair game to use this interface to complain about our issues even though it is cleary geared toward the 50 states (no surprise there). Even if everyone just generically complains about the exterritorial reach of FATCA, someone will start to get the message.
- Here is a page on the “Equal Credit Opportunity”(ECOA) under the law from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre15.shtm As shown, there are certain rights concerning non-discrimination and the like. There is indeed a whole page dedicated to enforcement of the ECOA by various federal agencies. I’ve chose to focus on two in particular:
- The Federal Trade Commission concerns itself with mortgage and consumer finance companies. They even have a detailed form to file complaints, and have allow for foreign addresses (WOW). There are quite a few steps to go through on the form, but I think it is well worth it. https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/FTC_Wizard.aspx?Lang=en#last
- The Department of Justice is also a heavyweight on some of these issues so I’ve chosen also to focus on them, for discrimination from creditors in particular. There is a particular complaint page specific to housing and civil enforcement. On this page, http://www.justice.gov/crt/complaint/#six near the bottom, there is a section on “Special Litigation” which gives and address and phone number. In the absence of any more specific category, this one would seem appropriate. Finally, at the bottom of the same page, there is a section on “Voting”. I am sure there is enough issues on this subject by Brockers to fill their inbox, from lack of Census counting in the districting issue, to no rights at all the vote for many overseas americans who never lived in the US. They give this email address to complain: Voting.Section@usdoj.gov
So I encourage everyone out there with specific issues to avail themselves of making their problem known, and to anyone who just wants to get the point across in general.
*It would appear that Swisspinoy’s initiative to spread the “lex Americana” to the whole earth has resonated in – of all places – the readership of the Isaac Brock Society.
If Swisspinoy would have America’s peculiarly domestic anti-discrimination laws applicable to the whole world, what American laws would he not seek to enforce abroad?
Make up your minds folks.
If you are against FATCAT on the principle that it represents a crude imperialistic attempt to spread and enforce American laws abroad then on what principle would you promote the application of US anti-discrimination laws to persons and entities outside the US?
This is a rant, and definitely not sandbox-compliant so read at your own risk.
Swisspinoy’s arguments are a sort of counter-example. Outrageous laws such as the NDAA and Patriot might actually both hurt and also help some of us, were they applied to their full extent. How can it be that the US government (Bushie-poo and Barry administrations and those of the congresscritters that seem to be oblivious to the Constitution) attempt to put in place and apply extraterritorial laws that screw USPs abroad while not applying extraterritorially the laws that would protect them?
FATCA, FBAR, Double Taxation abroad are incompatible with American anti-discrimination laws, and the US Constitution, UDHR, and other constitutions. If one is considered to be a USP and a bank or government official or other entity tries to discriminate against such USP in contrevention of US anti-discrimination laws (and their own constitutional guarantees as well) and refuses to enforce or respect a US law or constitutional article that protects the rights of the individual (such rights being absolutely destroyed by F,F,DT), that means that he or she is, by the definitions of the Patriot act, a TERRORIST (because she or he is acting illegally against an American abroad) and hence subject to the full furry of the DOD and American law enforcement (and thus, to the full furry of vigilantes if the authorites do not show up to rescue the American). I seem to remember that somewhere burried in the volumous pages of Patriot, there is/are some clause(s) that punish anyone who does anything illegal against an American who is abroad. If the US government does not show up to rescue the American, the 2nd Amendment US Const empowers the American to take the law into his own hands to defend democracy and his people (see also Art 58, 59 Swiss Constitution– the militiaman can be called upon to defend the nation– it doesn’t say who must call them, so we can suppose that the Constitution itself may call them to action if it is threatened). Do governments worldwide want to subject themselves and their territory to the full furry of revolution (or at least other forms of militia action such as the pie that went in the face of the Swiss ex-president recently, probably as punishment and protest for her treason against the people that she committed by prostrating herself in front of Unca Sam) ? If not, then they must refuse to apply any stupid and unconstitutional law passed by congresscritters that contravenes the rights assured by even their own sacred Constitutions.
Would foreign governments accept the full furry of what US law says? Or would they be happier to protect the individual and not apply US laws, but only the rights guaranteed in their own constitutions, the UDHR, and the US Const? Governments of nations that I recognize to be legitimate are empowered by, and respect, a constitution that was voted by the people. All others are illegitimate.
Governments exist to protect the people and enforce their will, not the will of some dying imperial power that is lashing out to glean and rake resources from everybody to save itself from the effects of its own mismanagement and decadence. The people of each nation are sovereign, not the governments, not the presidents. If we really need to bail Unca Sam out to protect the world economy, then let’s vote on some measures that would help Sammy boy through some shared, intelligent, and innovative methods, not let congresscritters legislate highway robbery bills.
When will foreign governments wake up to the paradox and that the whole FatCat/FuAR/DoubleTaxation mess poses to their own security, well being, happiness, and ultimately, peace? Are we going to descend into a new sort of Dark Ages?
Fuck FAtCAt, FuBAR, Double TaxFUCKation. Fuck the congresscritters that forgot why they are supposed to be there. Fuck officials of foreign governments that fail to defend the sovereignty of their people. I have no patience for assholes and assholettes, whether they be merely oblivious or also malicious.
Let’s find the Death Stars and neutralize them. We’ll need poor farm boys, old farts who failed before but still have convictions and knowlege (like Yoda and Ben), groaning wookies, sweet princessess, and plenty of Ewoks to help us as well as R2D2 and annoying blabbermouths such as C3PO. Preserving democracy takes all kinds of folks. EVERYBODY. This means YOU!
Are we going to allow the world to descend once again into a sort of dark ages, or shall we build a New Republic? Will we allow the work and sacrifices of the founding fathers to be in vain?
Well, Swisspinoy’s approach would seem to be more hopeful than trying to complain to the Swiss government (or any other European government really) nowadays. They’ve all sold out in my opinion and are jumping over eachother to see who can please Uncle Sam the fastest. Data protection laws apply to anyone except “US persons” in Europe…
The only hope that I still see is for somebody to go the European Court of Justice or for the European Parliament to catch on to the issue and do something about it. National level governments simply don’t care, and I imagine that several of them are practically watering at the mouth at the thought of getting financial data on their residents from US banks (even though that looks unlikely to happen nowadays). That or they just have no backbone. Probably a mix of both.
You really have to wonder how much worse it could get in Switzerland though…I mean, people there can barely find a bank account and mortgage, and there is talk of simply banning “US persons” from owning property. Maybe they’ll just deport everyone and ban “US persons” from settling in Switzerland entirely to satisfy the US? Thoughts?
@Don Pomodoro I think it makes sense to make as many complaints as possible in the way that Swisspinoy suggests. Put the whole thing on record. Even if DOJ and HUD and the VA don’t do anything, at least there is a paper trail, and this could be used in a foreign court later.
If Switzerland were to ban US persons, then they would have to deport a whole lot of people who are also Swiss.
I am not sure that kicking 20’000 USC’s out of Switzerland would do much to reduce the population (we are starting to feel the effects of overcrowding here). They would also have to kick out the non-USC USPs as well (and this would include many Swiss as well as Europeans, so they would thus violate the bilateral accords with Europe and that would cause all sorts of trouble– not to mention violating the Swiss Constitution which protects Swiss citizens from deportation or even extradition).
“Would foreign governments accept the full furry of what US law says?”
What a charming typo!
Were it not for the “full furry” of US law, lawyers and tax advisors would actually have to learn to do something useful with their lives.
The “full furry”.
I like that.
The problem has been that nobody cares about US citizens abroad. It has been impossible to get any kind of dialogue with the Obama administration. I recently did a post on this topic:
I noticed that Obama has started to participate at Reddit. This could be an opportunity to engage him on these issues:
Have a look at this:
Also, how about this for stupidity. Sometime yesterday the Democrats Abroad twitter account was turned into a private blog. In other words, only those approved to read their tweets would have access to them Incredible. Somebody there realized the stupidity of this decision it is now public again – this means that you can reply to their tweets.You should respond to their tweets.