Do you know the signs of #ElderAbuse?

Title companies are charged with watching out for this. We do not want to “blow” your deal however we want to make sure NO ONE is being taken advantage of. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Commission, “elder abuse includes the illegal or improper use of an older adult’s funds, property, or assets.” [1]

Most Common Elder Abusers
Recent studies suggest that financial exploitation is the most common form of elder abuse and that only a small fraction of incidents are reported. [2] Older adults can become targets of financial exploitation by family members, caregivers, scam artists, financial advisers, home repair contractors, fiduciaries (such as agents under power of attorney and guardians), and others. Older adults are attractive targets because they may have significant assets or equity in their homes. They may be especially vulnerable due to isolation, cognitive decline, physical disability, health problems, and/or the recent loss of a partner, family member, or friend.”

The Role of Financial Institutions
“Financial institutions can play a key role in preventing and detecting elder financial exploitation. A financial institution’s familiarity with older adults it encounters may enable it to spot irregular transactions, account activity, or behavior. [3] Prompt reporting of suspected financial exploitation to adult protective services, law enforcement, [4] and/or long-term care ombudsmen [5] can trigger appropriate intervention, prevention of financial losses, and other remedies.”

Lawyers Title prides itself in its ability to offer its clients the latest technological tools as well as a treasure trove of resources to help their clients through various types of transactions. From buying and selling, to escrow, title, and beyond, we’ve got you covered with comprehensive resources. My name is Kristi Muñoz and I am a title insurance and sales expert at Lawyers Title. I am part of a team that was created specifically to make you a more efficient real estate professional. I take pride in closing your transactions and making certain that you don’t have to worry about title issues and document recording. This means that you will have more time to focus on what you do best.

#TitleTalk is just a phone call or email away (909) 841-7645 or KMunoz@LTIC.COM.

Sources
[1] 4 See the National Center on Elder Abuse definitions available at http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/FAQ/Type_Abuse/index.aspx. The Older Americans Act, as amended by the Elder Justice Act of 2009, defines exploitation as “the fraudulent or otherwise illegal, unauthorized, or improper act or process of an individual, including a caregiver or fiduciary, that uses the resources of an elder for monetary or personal benefit, profit, or gain, or that results in depriving an elder of rightful access to, or use of, benefits, resources, belongings, or assets.” 42 U.S.C. 1397j(8).

[2] 5 Acierno, R., M. A. Hernandez, A. B. Amstadter, H. S. Resnick, K. Steve, W. Muzzy, and D. G. Kilpatrick, “Prevalence and Correlates of Emotional, Physical, Sexual and Financial Abuse and Potential Neglect in the United States: The National Elder Mistreatment Study,” American Journal of Public Health 100(2): 292–97; Lifespan of Greater Rochester, Inc., et al., Under the Radar: New York State Elder Abuse Prevention Study, (Rochester, NY: Lifespan of Greater Rochester, Inc., May 2011).

[3] 6 Treasury Department rules require recipients of federal nontax payments to receive payment by electronic funds transfer, with an allowance for certain waivers from the requirement. The rule applies to recipients of Social Security, Veterans Affairs, Supplemental Security Income, Railroad Retirement Board, Department of Labor, and Office of Personnel Management benefit payments. Benefit recipients may have payments directly deposited to an account at a financial institution or to a Direct Express debit card account. See 75 Fed. Reg. 80315 (Dec. 22, 2010). Financial institutions should be mindful that this change may result in additional electronic funds transfer activity involving the accounts of older adults.

[4] 7 Financial institutions file “Suspicious Activity Reports” with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a Bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, involving money laundering and terrorist financing as well as activities related to elder abuse and other consumer fraud. The reports assist law enforcement in identifying individuals and organizations involved in financial crime. See FinCEN, Advisory to Financial Institutions on Filing Suspicious Activity Reports Regarding Elder Financial Exploitation, FIN-2011-A003 (Feb. 22, 2011), available at http://www.fincen.gov/statutes_regs/guidance/pdf/fin-2011-a003.pdf.

[5] 8 Long-Term Care Ombudsmen are advocates for residents of nursing homes, board and care homes, assisted living facilities and similar adult care facilities. Under the federal Older Americans Act, each state has an Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman that addresses complaints and advocates for improvements in the long-term care system. Local ombudsman staff and volunteers work to resolve problems of individual residents. For more information, see http://www.aoa.gov/AoARoot/AoA_Programs/Elder_Rights/Ombudsman/index.aspx. To find your local ombudsman program, search by location at www.eldercare.gov.

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