CFPB Seeks Public Input On Financial Fraud Against The Elderly
Director Richard Cordray of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has announced a public inquiry to learn the extent and differing ways through which seniors are financially exploited, with the goal of developing the best practices for elder financial management. According to a recent study, seniors were defrauded of at least $2.9 billion in 2010, a 12 percent increase in the dollar amount lost from 2008 to 2010.
One particular type of scam demonstrates the need for legal reforms to prevent the financial exploitation of individuals with cognitive impairment at the time they execute wills, trusts, Powers of Attorney, or real estate transactions. Close attention by the professionals who oversee the document preparation—financial planners, lawyers, bankers--plays a large role in preventing this type of financial abuse against seniors. But the act of notarization carries an even heavier responsibility, to ensure that the signer is aware of what he or she is signing and is in agreement with the intent of the document.
The results of the CFPB’s survey will benefit seniors in a number of ways by helping to establish financial, counseling or management programs that will prevent this type of financial fraud.