Lenders Called to Act in Reporting Elder Financial Abuse

Mortgage lenders, among all businesses that offer financial products and services to seniors, are being called to action both on the federal and state levels, to report elder financial abuse to authorities. 

Many states are enacting laws that urge financial institutions to report suspected elder abuse, in addition to a recent effort by federal agencies to bypass former rules that made it more difficult to report suspected instances, write attorneys from K&L Gates in a recent notice

In California, a new law requires “money transmitter licensees” to train their agents on how to spot and report instances of financial elder abuse, according to international law K&L Gates notes. This law supplements existing California law that requires certain types of caregivers to report financial elder abuse. 

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Additionally, local governments and organizations are spearheading advertising campaigns to help the public recognize financial elder abuse. 

On the federal level, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and and handful of other agencies issued new guidance last week that would assist financial institutions in reporting suspected elder financial exploitation. 

The guidance presents a new interpretation of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act that allows financial institutions to bypass privacy concerns in cases of suspected fraud among the senior population. 

“Financial institutions should review their policies and procedures on elder abuse to ensure that they are in compliance with applicable reporting laws,” K&L Gates writes. 

More on the CFPB guidance can be found here

Written by Jason Oliva

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  • “Suspected” abuse is a very shaky standard to report a very serious crime. While a continuous pattern of objective is not.
    It would seem the best standard would be somewhere in between.

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