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On Monday, lawmakers in South Dakota introduced groundbreaking legislation that would help protect the retirement accounts and property rights of the citizens in their state.
Legislators in states across the country should consider similar action, because without important legal changes, tens of millions of American families could be at risk of suffering substantial financial and/or property losses in the event of a future financial crash.
In the 1990s, a highly influential organization called the Uniform Law Commission convinced policymakers in all 50 states to quietly make substantial alterations to Article 8 of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). The UCC is a set of uniform state laws that have been adopted by all states to ensure that commercial activities are governed by the same rules across borders, improving economic efficiency.
Changes in the 1990s revised how states treat investments and property held by financial institutions. (iStock)
The changes to Article 8 revised how states treat investments and property held by financial institutions, as well as allowed institutions to use customers’ investments and property as collateral for their own businesses.
Under these alterations to the UCC, people’s investment securities are typically owned by the investment firm, brokerage house or other financial institution helping the consumer manage