Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa) Introduces Bill For Greater Elder Protection
More Responsibility On Banks To Protect Seniors From Abuse
Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, introduced legislation recently that would strengthen elder and dependent adult financial abuse protections by clarifying the duties of banks and financial institutions to safeguard against fraud.
“Banks must do a better job of preventing the most vulnerable Californians from getting ripped off,” Sen. Dodd said. “This bill clarifies that if these institutions assist in financial elder abuse — either knowingly or otherwise — they can be held liable. It will motivate them to detect predatory practices before victims are robbed of their resources, dignity and quality of life — losses from which they may never recover.”
Financial elder abuse cases are on the rise in California. Banks are often on the frontline of where financial abuse occurs – caregivers or others forging checks, making unauthorized ATM withdrawals, moving money around through online access, or using fraudulently obtained powers of attorney or other means to add themselves to accounts or open new ones.
Unfortunately, the language of California’s current financial elder abuse law is unclear regarding the reporting responsibilities of banks for suspicious transactions such as these, leading to conflicting court rulings regarding the standard of proof for holding accountable a financial institution.
Now, when victims attempt to sue their bank for assisting in a scam, the institution can avoid responsibility by claiming it did not have actual knowledge of fraud. But Sen. Dodd’s legislation, Senate Bill 278, would clarify that victims of financial elder abuse can continue to hold institutions accountable when they should have known of the fraud but negligently assisted in the transfer anyway. The clarification would support victims of financial elder abuse in meeting their burden of proof.
SB 278 is supported by Evans Law Firm, Inc., other elder rights advocates and Consumer Attorneys of California.
If you suspect elder abuse of any kind, including financial elder abuse, call the elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm at (415)441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-80EVANS (888-503-8267).
Ingrid M. Evans represents seniors throughout California against any individuals or business who abuse them or financially exploit them. If you need help, call Ingrid and our other attorneys today at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</a>. Our toll-free number is 1-888-80EVANS (888-503-8267).
We handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, qui tam and whistleblower law, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.