Financial Elder Abuse
Importance of Civil Recovery Actions
Financial elder abuse takes billions of dollars every year from the pockets of American seniors and their families. Much of the abuse is criminal, outright theft; in other cases it is noncriminal financial exploitation. If the abuse is criminal, always report it to law enforcement. But whether the abuse is criminal or not, always consult an attorney when you suspect any form of financial elder abuse in order to pursue any available civil remedies against the wrongdoer. California leads the nation in protections for seniors against all forms of elder abuse, including financial elder abuse. We at Evans Law Firm represent victims in civil cases against all types of elder abusers and exploiters: insurance agents, brokers, reverse mortgage brokers and lenders, financial advisors, scam artists, embezzling family members, caregivers, assisted care facilities and nursing homes, among others. If you or someone you know is the victim of financial elder abuse in San Mateo County or elsewhere in California, call Evans Law Firm today at 415-441-8669.
Why Civil Cases Matter
Law enforcement plays a critical role in the war on criminal financial elder abuse. But financial exploitation of seniors may violate civil laws in California even if the exploitation is not criminal. Examples include insurance agents selling high-commission unsuitable products, misleading financial advice from investment advisors, expensive and unsuitable reverse mortgages and other loans, unscrupulous contractors, quack weight loss or dietary products, work-from-home schemes, and hidden shipping and handling or subscriptions. Under California law, any “taking” of a senior’s property for a “wrongful use” is financial elder abuse. The same law provides for mandatory attorneys’ fees and costs, easing the financial burden of bringing a lawsuit. There are, however, strict limitations periods within which suits must be brought, so contact an attorney immediately when you first suspect elder abuse. The California elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm represent victims throughout California. Call us at (415)441-8669 when you first suspect a problem.
A Growing Problem
Financial elder abuse is a growing problem throughout the country and San Mateo County is no exception. Justice Department reports indicate than 1 in 10 seniors in this country will be a victim of financial elder abuse and the number is very likely understated as much elder abuse goes unreported. Financial elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm Inc. have experience representing victims of financial elder abuse against unscrupulous insurance agents and financial advisors, negligent annuity and life insurance companies, fraudulent caregivers and fiduciaries, greedy family members, and con artists.
Isolation of a senior really sets the stage for financial abuse. The ideal target for financial elder abuse is an older woman living alone between the ages of 75 and 80. Studies show that 47% of all women over 75 live alone. This group is particularly susceptible to financial elder abuse. If you are a family member or loved one be sure to stay actively involved in the life of any senior living alone. Check in frequently. Review their bank accounts on a regular basis. Accompany them to any business meetings and discourage them from responding to any mail solicitations before consulting you. Do a background check on any caregivers they may need. Keep valuables and important papers in a secure place. Check credit card statements frequently and make sure they do not give their credit cards or ATM cards to anyone. Financial predators strike quickly and the safest way to protect your senior is to stay on top of all their affairs all the time.
Fortunately, California leads the nation in protecting seniors against financial elder abuse. California defines financial elder abuse broadly: any “taking” of a senior’s property (including money) for a “wrongful use” constitutes financial elder abuse. California law also affords enhanced remedies for victims, including extra damages, injunctive relief, and attorneys’ fees and costs. While we at Evans Law Firm always recommend you report financial elder abuse to law enforcement, those agencies may only secure restitution and will not represent you in getting all the additional relief California law allows.
If you’re a senior or the loved one of a senior be cautious in all financial matters. Know that anyone could be a potential financial predator. We cannot stress enough that you should seek professional help whenever you first suspect financial elder abuse. Seek the advice of people you trust. Do not relinquish authority over finances or access to a checkbook or credit cards to anyone unless it’s someone you completely trust. Don’t respond to door-to-door, phone or mail and internet solicitations for money; these are the most recurring types of financial elder abuse. If your senior loved one requires in home care, be sure to do a background check on anyone you hire. Always keep valuables and important papers safely stored where others cannot access them. Be sure and monitor the senior’s bank account and credit card statements for suspicious withdrawals or other activity. Lastly, if you’re a senior, don’t isolate; let loved ones and longtime friends and professionals help you just as you helped them in your younger years. It’s important.
If you or a loved one been the victim of financial elder abuse in San Mateo County or elsewhere in California, contact San Mateo County and California elder abuse attorney Ingrid Evans and the other elder abuse attorneys at the Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our attorneys have experience with all types of financial elder abuse, investment and securities fraud and annuity fraud. We can help guide your case through a jury trial, through a FINRA arbitration, or toward an equitable settlement. 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.