Dallas area residents with elderly relatives are all-too-aware of the potential for abuse from caregivers or theft, fraud, and more at the hands of many others. Elderly people can make easy victims for those that want easy access to funds or more. Elder abuse can happen within the walls of a nursing home or assisted living center just as easily as it can happen at a financial institution.
One way that some people have been able to prey upon elderly people, obtaining large sums of money, is due to a 1999 law that prevented the reporting of potential bank account abuse without full authorization from the account holder. This law was enacted with the goal of maintaining customer privacy. However, it is now recognized that the very law intended to protect people could, in fact, make it easier for them to be taken advantage of.
A recent decision from federal regulators now authorizes banks to report any signs of potential financial abuse without concern of privacy violations. One recent case in Collin County saw several elderly women cheated out of roughly $655,000. The new law allows banks to report suspicious activity to local, state, or federal authorities as appropriate to help prevent such losses.
Whether nursing home neglect or financial abuse, damage done to our society’s elderly persons and their families requires attention. If you have a loved one that has been the victim of elder abuse, you may wish to consult with a Texas elder abuse lawyer to understand how you can protect them and receive compensation.
Source: Dallas News, “Elderly need financial institutions watching for signs of abuse,” Pamela Yip, September 29, 2013