The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to approve a bill that will hopefully encourage financial advisers to help stop senior financial fraud. The Senior Safe Act protects financial advisers and their firms from liability for violating privacy laws when they report suspicions or evidence of elder financial abuse.
The bi-partisan legislation, unanimously approved by house members, seeks to help financial institutions and their employees identify when a person may be the victim of exploitation. It also gives them the ability to report their suspicions without fear of liability. However, specialized training to help advisors identify and report such incidents would be required in order for immunity from liability to go into effect.
Also this month, laws were put in place in Indiana, Alabama, and Vermont mandating that financial advisers notify state authorities when they suspect that an elderly person or another vulnerable adult may be the victim of financial abuse. The new legislation lets advisers put a freeze on fund disbursements from a client’s accounts. It also gives them immunity from liability for reporting their suspicions.
Meantime, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority remain committed to their battle against elder abuse. FINRA has proposed a rule that, while it doesn’t mandate reporting of senior abuse, allows advisers to name a third party that could be notified if they suspect that a client is the victim of elder financial abuse. Also, in January, the North American Securities Administrators Association unveiled its NASAA Model Act to Protect Vulnerable Adults from Financial Exploitation.
While it is very positive that lawmakers and regulators at both the federal and state levels are stepping up efforts to identify, prevent, and stop elder financial abuse, this doesn’t mean you should not speak to an experienced senior financial fraud lawyer if you suspect that you or your loved one has sustained related losses. The best way to increase the chances of full financial recovery is to have a securities fraud firm representing you.
With more Americans growing older and living longer, incidents of elder financial abuse are expected to increase. Unfortunately, there are individuals who seek to purposely target older investors because they have retirement savings, become too sick or weak to know they are being bilked, or are too afraid/are unable to report what has happened.
Recently, a FINRA arbitration panel awarded a man in his late seventies $142,168 in his case against Garden State Securities Inc. The panel found that the financial firm overtraded the account of Anthony Romano and placed him in unsuitable investments, including leveraged exchange-traded notes, penny stocks, speculative stocks, and other investments. As a result, claimed Romano’s legal team, he lost money.
Elder Financial Fraud
To request your free case consultation, contact Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD LLP via phone or email today. Our senior fraud law firm has helped thousands of investors get their money back.
House Passes Senior Protection Act, Credit Union Times, July 7, 2016