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house Bill H.R. 4538

Senior$afe: Protecting Financial Institutions That Report Suspected Exploitation of Seniors

Argument in favor

This bill protects America’s seniors from financial exploitation. Financial institutions and their employees should be trained and encouraged to report suspected abuse.

operaman's Opinion
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07/07/2016
Being a senior who banks, hell yes. Many elderly have been taken advantage of including caregivers, family members or "helpful" neighbors.
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Loraki's Opinion
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02/11/2017
Great opinion from Countable member SherryTX: "If this bill is passed the govt should bring itself up on charges because the govt has stolen from social security and Medicare." SherryTX, I couldn't agree more!
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QuintonH's Opinion
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11/10/2016
In my preparation I'm becoming a camp counselor, I had to become a certified abuse reporter, which means that if I suspect hold abuse I am fully liable if I do not report it. I mention this because when I went through training, we were informed that all reports would be sent to CPS and Police anonymously, so at this point I don't understand why we don't extend this courtesy to those who report potential fraud against senior citizens.
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Argument opposed

Financial institutions and their employees should be held liable for making false reports of suspected financial abuse, even if the report is made in good faith.

SherryTX's Opinion
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07/07/2016
If this bill is passed the govt should bring itself up on charges because the govt has stolen from social security and Medicare.
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Randall's Opinion
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07/07/2016
This is great for the banks and lousy for seniors.
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ksmitty717's Opinion
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08/02/2016
I think we can do more to protect seniors but this bill seems to protect the financial institutions more than it does the seniors.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed July 6th, 2016
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Financial Services
    IntroducedFebruary 11th, 2016

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What is House Bill H.R. 4538?

The Senior$afe Act aims to help identify, report and prevent the financial abuse of senior citizens. It would ensure that banks, credit unions, investment advisors, broker-dealers and their employees cannot be sued for reporting potential financial exploitation of a senior, as long as the disclosure is made “in good faith and with reasonable care.”

In order to qualify for protection, the employee making the report must have received training on how to spot and report exploitation of senior citizens. The report must be made to a regulatory agency, law enforcement agency, or adult protective services agency.

The bill also encourages financial institutions to provide training on reporting exploitation to supervisors, compliance officers, and legal advisors who come into contact with senior citizens or review their financial documents and transactions.

Impact

Financial institutions and their employees, senior citizens who may be financially exploited, people accused of financial exploitation, agencies responsible for fielding reports of financial abuse

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4538

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In Depth: Financial fraud affects about 20 percent of senior investors and robbed American senior citizens of an estimated $2.9 billion in 2010. These scams are frequently perpetrated by someone the senior knows well, and many cases go unreported.


Of Note: Sponsoring Rep. Bruce Poliquin said in a press release:

“The seniors in our 2nd District have worked their whole lives to build their savings. It is absolutely unacceptable and deplorable for their hard-earned investments to be so egregiously abused by predatory criminals.”


Media:

Summary by Katie Rose Quandt
(Image Credit: Steven Depolo/ Flickr )

AKA

Senior Safe Act of 2016

Official Title

To provide immunity from suit for certain individuals who disclose potential examples of financial exploitation of senior citizens, and for other purposes.

    Being a senior who banks, hell yes. Many elderly have been taken advantage of including caregivers, family members or "helpful" neighbors.
    Like (16)
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    If this bill is passed the govt should bring itself up on charges because the govt has stolen from social security and Medicare.
    Like (11)
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    Great opinion from Countable member SherryTX: "If this bill is passed the govt should bring itself up on charges because the govt has stolen from social security and Medicare." SherryTX, I couldn't agree more!
    Like (15)
    Follow
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    In my preparation I'm becoming a camp counselor, I had to become a certified abuse reporter, which means that if I suspect hold abuse I am fully liable if I do not report it. I mention this because when I went through training, we were informed that all reports would be sent to CPS and Police anonymously, so at this point I don't understand why we don't extend this courtesy to those who report potential fraud against senior citizens.
    Like (7)
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    Unless it comes to light that the institution is also harming the senior financially, then they should be protected from harm for doing something to protect those seniors. Not sure how often this would come into play though, but that could just be me being cynical again.
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    He world is much different now than when the senior citizens were our age. If anything is will protect the senior citizens and ensure the people who are offering financial advice to the senior actually have the best interests of their clients instead of what could make them the most money.
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    We have had tens of thousands of seniors thrown into poverty as they retire because their savings and 401Ks were stolen by the wealthy. Yes protection required for the vulnerable
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    I work in elder abuse prevention. This would help put a lot more folks who are at risk under the radar. Older adults rely on the money they worked so hard to save. A lot of times it's family that does the exploitation. Very sad.
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    Yes they should be protected when they suspect a crime against them. Even they adult children should be protected. Our system of whistle blowers needs to be more secure. Look what happened to Snowden. He thought he was doing the right thing.
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    This is great for the banks and lousy for seniors.
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    Courts and lawyers should be included.
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    The strong will always prey on the weak. But by banding together we can be stronger and stop these amoral habits.
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    In the case of financial abuse of seniors I would prefer to err on the side of too much intervention! The potential for the banks' governing bodies to quietly resolve issues of depositor fraud privately rather than bring cases to the attention of law enforcement is clearly very high when an annual loss to senior depositors is $2.9 billion! In this case, I believe a law such as this is warranted. The required reporting of such suspected incidents would relieve bank employees of the need to lay their jobs on the line and risk being fired for reporting incidents that might adversely affect the public image of the financial institutions that employ them. This would remove the responsibility from the employee alone and place it with legal authorities where it belongs.
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    This happened to my friend's mother. Had her bank been able to report it, it might have stopped before thousands of dollars were taken her.
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    It's common sense.
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    Millions of dollars are being lost by vulnerable elders to scams.
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    I would like to extend protection to widows a widowers of all ages for first year.
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    While I appreciate the spirit of the rule of protecting seniors, I have 2 major reservations. Firstly, this rule restrains the civil justice system by taking away people's right to sue. This doesn't mean every lawsuit is founded but simply that people should have this right. Secondly, such a rule can be left to the states since it is a proactive measure, rather than a defense of a universal right, and a matter for which there is no immediate and compelling national interest affecting interstate or international commerce.
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    Yes! They should be offered full protection.
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    I think we can do more to protect seniors but this bill seems to protect the financial institutions more than it does the seniors.
    Like (1)
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