And I hate to say it, but the money being taken fits in with the idea of an inquisition. When a person was charged with heresy, their property became forefeit. In this day and age, that would no doubt be a checking account. But the credit cards weren't taken. Because credit isn't money you have, it saying you'll pay later.
God I hope I'm wrong.
EDIT: Spectre, did you happen to see anything in Peter's dreams last night?