Who Commits Elder Abuse?
The State of Financial Elder Abuse in California
It’s not easy to find someone who doesn’t condemn elder abuse. From the Federal government and state legislatures, to banks and financial institutions, and down on to everyday folks, there’s no-one who countenances abuse, either physical or financial, against seniors and the elderly. What this unanimity conceals, however, is a vast gulf in understanding and methods between two groups that deal with the epidemic of financial elder abuse.
Firstly, there are those like our San Francisco financial elder abuse attorneys, who work with and represent victims of abuse, and experience elder abuse from the senior’s perspective. These people see all sorts of heinous acts carried out against seniors, both by trusted family and friends, and by corporate malefactors.
Secondly, there are financial institutions, which normally come into contact with victims of elder abuse when they receive a complaint that a broker, teller, or other agent of their company intentionally or unwittingly aided in committing elder abuse. These companies, which tend to see themselves as benevolent and helping seniors with retirement, nevertheless often find themselves in the crosshairs of elder abuse complaints.
These two groups often disagree about something fundamental in preventing elder abuse: who is responsible for committing the majority of it? Financial institutions often claim that the majority of financial elder abuse is committed by family members (as in this study by Metlife), implicitly saying that there’s nothing banks or insurance companies can do to prevent it.
Senior advocates and financial elder abuse attorneys see it differently. Seniors are often victims of pushy brokers, pushy salespeople, and as the recent Wells Fargo episode shows, financial fraud committed without their knowledge or consent. Where an insurance company might see a good customer, our San Francisco financial elder abuse attorneys might see an elderly grandparent, living on a fixed income, burdened down with abusive financial products that become more onerous and expensive by the day.
While it’s certainly reprehensible when an elderly grandmother has a grandchild steal jewelry, or when parts of Grandpa’s estate go missing, the sheer scope of abusive practices built into annuities, whole life insurance policies, reverse mortgages and other financial products that are bundled up and sold by the truckload to senior citizens certainly constitutes a major avenue of elder abuse, and it’s one that financial companies tend not to include in their reports.
Preventing Abuse Financial Transactions
Thankfully, government regulators have taken steps recently to curb this sort of abuse. A new Department of Labor rule requires commissioned annuity brokers to act as fiduciaries, and FINRA has passed new rules giving bank the power (and the responsibility) to freeze transactions when they have suspicions of elder abuse. While it’s far from perfect, seniors who intend to invest in financial products, or who have already bought an abusive product, need all the help they can get. Government agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services recognize that financial exploitation is the fastest-growing sector of elder abuse.
Some of the major annuity and life insurance providers in California are:
- Aviva/Athene/Accordia Life Insurance Company
- Transamerica Life Insurance Company
- John Hancock Life Insurance Company
- Bankers Life Insurance and Casualty company
- Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company
- Midland Life Insurance Company
- North American Company for Life and Health Insurance
- Pacific Life Insurance Company
- Prudential Life Insurance Company
- Genworth Life Insurance Company
- ING USA Annuity and Life Insurance Company
- Lincoln Benefit Life Company
- Metlife/Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
- Unum Life Insurance Company of America
- Voya/Reliastar Life Insurance Company
If you or a loved one has experienced [Keyword] in California, contact the Evans Law Firm [keyword] fraud attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our attorneys have experience with complex financial contracts and large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through a jury trial 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.