Real property is subject to forfeiture to the United States of America if the property is used in violation of law or is acquired with proceeds of the commission of a crime (such as drug trafficking). The most common federal forfeiture statutes are:
- 21 U.S.C. 881 is a civil "in rem" forfeiture action that is brought directly as an action against the property. There is no requirement that the owner be convicted of a crime.
- 21 U.S.C. 853 is a criminal "in personam" forfeiture action requiring that the individual defendant be convicted of a crime.
- 18 U.S.C. 1963 is the "RICO" criminal "in personam" forfeiture requiring that the individual defendant be convicted of a crime.
Individual states also have statues relating to forfeiture actions. Although a series of bulletins have been written on insuring property which has been the subject of a forfeiture action, this area should be considered an extrahazardous risk. Therefore, before attempting to insure on either a federal or state forfeiture action, underwriting guidance from counsel on a state, regional or national level must be sought.